#T4DTourX: Preparation and Planning Can Help in Awkward Interviews
Preparing for an interview comes in all shapes, forms, and sizes and is necessary to have a successful interview. But let’s consider what to do when you’re prepped, ready, and confident and something doesn’t go well during the interview. Your confidence starts to dwindle or even worse, it gets killed.
Let’s take a look at a possible scenario…
You are walking into the PHARMACY (or perhaps medical or dental) school for your interview and feeling great. You look good, which means you feel good, so now you’re ready to play good. You tour the school with a group of current students, and now it’s time to sit and talk with the group of interviewers. You are well prepared and killing it with your answers thus far. Then, you get a question and don’t quite know what is being asked, so you politely say, “I’m sorry. Do you mind repeating the question? I am not sure I am understanding what you’re asking.” The interviewer repeats the question. You give your best answer, and he again repeats the question. This goes on a couple times and see him getting frustrated. You think you’re answering appropriately, and he isn’t budging. On top of this, he ends up saying, “Never mind.” To further make the situation more uncomfortable, he yawns. You are freaking out (internally) because you really want to be accepted into this program.
Now let’s consider what you can do to make this situation less awkward and uncomfortable and regain your confidence.
The simple way to regroup if you get discouraged is to take a deep breath and shake it off.
Another idea is to find an inspirational quote, write it down on a small piece of paper, and keep it in your pocket. During a break, take it out and look at it to help you refocus and regain your confidence. My favorite for example is, “You is smart, you is kind, you is important.” Also, something as simple as, “IT’S GO TIME!” works as well to build your confidence.
It is also appropriate to ask the interviewer to repeat the question and/or state the question differently. Let the interviewers know you want to make sure you are answering their questions completely. Here are some examples: Did I answer your questions? Would you like me to elaborate/focus on something specific?
If at the end of your interview, your gut is telling you that the interview didn’t go well due to this unusual situation, ask to speak to the director of admissions prior to leaving. Explain that part of the interview took a turn and put you in an unusual situation. State how you are interested in the program but really lost confidence when the interviewer seemed frustrated with you. The director of admissions will handle the situation how they see fit from here. Keep in mind the director of admissions may as you to re-do your interview right then and there with a different group of interviewers. It is important to know this may be a possibility and be ready for this fresh start.
Overall, the most important message you want to convey is that you are interested in their program and want that to be reflected during the interview process. Remember to roll with the punches, put your best foot forward, and lastly fake it until you make it if necessary.