A tension has entered the air. Everyone started off the interview politely and engaged. But now, attention is starting to wane. Your interviewers seem suddenly impatient, checking their phones or distractedly going through the motions. You’re blowing your chance.

It may seem hopeless, but there’s still a chance to salvage the situation. Imagine that moment in a sports movie when the music swells and the hero picks themselves up off the ground for that one last shot. That’s the point you’re at now.

But how? How do you swing things back in your favor and reengage your audience? What can you do to salvage the interview that’s turned sour?

There is a response you can take. Readjusting the situation comes down to one relatively simple premise: staying reactive.

It’s a matter of having multiple game plans and being able to change course as circumstances dictate. Don’t go into an interview with a single vision of how things will go. That will leave you vulnerable since if that direction fails, you’re out of luck.

Instead, you need to be ready for a potentially hostile environment. Once you’re in the middle of the interview, you need to react to circumstances and adjust to the needs of the moment.


Being reactive isn’t about swerving into a sudden improv. You need to be quick on your feet, but the process actually starts well before you enter the interview. You have to prepare, anticipating possible ways in which the conversation can turn against you.

This process means identifying your weaknesses. Not just in the “what are your biggest weaknesses?” sort of way. Instead, you really need to understand the parts of your background and skill set that will turn your interviewers off. Anticipate these and plan how you can react.

Read the Situation

Reacting to circumstances only becomes an option if you can properly judge the circumstances in the first place. You need to stay alert to how the interview is going. Watch for body language and context clues. Try to sense if the tide has turned against you, so you can take the appropriate steps to adjust.

Change Course as Needed

Once you feel the interview vibe starts to deteriorate, you have to react. Based on the situation, enact one of the other scenarios you had planned out earlier.

Your course will depend on the circumstances. If the conversation has become stale, try to get the interviewers involved by asking a question of your own. If your experience level seems to present a problem, emphasize your soft skills. Don’t just let the ship sink. Take whatever maneuvers you can to get things back on course.

Making a strong impression at an interview takes practice and strong communication skills. It also involves being in the right situation to start with. By partnering with a top-flight recruiting firm, like PrideStaff, you ensure that you’ve put in the ideal placement, giving you every opportunity to shine.

Contact PrideStaff today for more details on how they can jumpstart your career.

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