Yes, it was quite in fact, that tragically awful.
I have never been one to boast on my interview skills; in fact, it is something I am oft quick to state that I am not good at.
Hone and Own my skills? Surely; but brag about myself? Nonsense. This interview was an exception to any other interview though. No matter what I said; from the moment I sat in the chair, communication was closed; and the interviewers were ‘done’. From there, it went from nightmare to horror story.
1.) Negative Nelly
It is essential, and it is something I am normally very aware of, to be positive in interviews. Past boss? Love ’em. College? Loved it. Rainy Days? Can’t get enough. Job hunting? Total Success. Interview skills? Rock them. Whatever it is; find the good in it – however, like the horror story it was, this interview focused on everything and anything negative… Strike 1 Blair.
2.) Rolling Eyes
If the person interviewing you rolls their eyes at you; repeatedly; regardless of your thoughts (“How Rude!”), emotions, or normal reaction – ignore it. Do not call them out. Clearly, however, I felt the need to address the eye rolling, which just made both the interviewer and myself, defensive. Strike 2 Blair.
Acknowledging that I was a poor interviewer (“I am shocked the person on LinkedIn/your websites is the person is the person we are interviewing”), I was given a chance to ‘start over’. While typically I would have jumped at owning this opportunity; remember that communication was closed from the moment I sat down. At this point, I think each of us just wanted the interview over. Nothing I could say could possibly redeem myself.
There are some things that I took away from this interview experience, some I knew and was reminded of, and others that were valuable things to learn.
1.) Vet your interviewers. Not just the position, but the actual interviewer. Know them like the back of your hand walking in.
2.) Smile. Smile. Smile. No matter what the nonverbal communication appears to be. No matter what is being said. Smile!
3.) Walk away courteously. Regardless of your inner thoughts and/or opinions; you represent a brand, ‘You”, don’t lose focus of that!
Here’s hoping no one has horror story interviews that can even begin to compete with my own! ☺