Keep Calm and Carry on Talking

Keep calm and carry on talkingHere's an important interview lesson many folks learn the hard way:

As I might have mentioned a while back, I recently took up playing the guitar after I inherited my aunt's old Spanish guitar.

Anyway, a few weeks back, I was (attempting) to play along to Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train", and I was doing pretty well -- until I missed a note and got flustered. You can guess what happened next.

I tried to "fix" my mistake, tripped over myself, fell even further behind, and almost threw my guitar across the room out of frustration.

This is a trap most of us fall into during job interviews too.

You do your best to answer a question, and then you accidently say the wrong thing. For example, you might let slip that you and your old boss never saw eye-to-eye. Or, perhaps you say something that could be misconstrued as offensive in some small way.

It happens to the best of us sometimes.

What most candidates do is they'll call themselves out and try to take back what they said. Or even worse they'll "dig themselves into a hole" by following up with something worse and even more incriminating. Before they know it, they put themselves on the defensive and what started as a tiny mistake is now the focal point of the entire interview.

What should you do instead?

Keep calm and carry on talking.

This is what good musicians do when they make a mistake. Concert pianists, for example, often make mistakes. It's just we never notice. The reason why is because they don't draw attention to it. They're taught to keep calm and carry on playing. And that's exactly what you should do too.

Resist the urge to "fix" it. Don't give in to temptation and "explain yourself". Don't try and "clarify your position". Just let it go quickly and carry on talking.

Interviewers have a lot of information to take in. They have a lot to focus on. Chances are, when you slip up, they don't even notice. And, even if they do, it's quickly forgotten as you answer more questions and show them how much value you bring to the table.

That's my two cents of interview advice for the day -- from a guy who's taught thousands of men and women around the world how to ace interviews.

Read 788 times Last modified on Thursday, 19 July 2018 02:21
Alan Carniol

Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 80,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are asking about a few key areas. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.