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Interviews: I’m on a Phone Interview & Losing It!!! |­­

Interviews: I’m on a Phone Interview & Losing It!!! |­­

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Here’s how to handle a situation when you’re feeling flustered or losing the interview.


I was working with someone yesterday who asked me about how to handle situations where they feel flustered.

Feeling flustered often comes from lack of preparation. Thus, you wind up in situations where you just don't perform. Frankly, I believe for most individuals, if you took more time to rehearse answers to predictable questions, the number of circumstances where you feel flustered were losing the phone interview would decline quickly.

Proper Preparation Prevents ________ Performance. The full sentence is, "Proper preparation prevents piss-poor performance."

Here's what I always suggest that people do. Have you ever been on a call with someone who says, "Hold on 1 second. Someone's interrupting me. Can you bear with me for a moment?" The call goes on hold, they come back and you pick up the conversation. Why not apply the same tactic here?

You're feeling a little bit off. You feel like the interviewee is going south on you. You need to pull yourself back together again and don't want to feel worked up. As soon as you send sense it, you say, "Could you bear with me for just a few seconds? Someone just walked in and I need to handle the situation." You put them on hold or mute the call and what you do is take a few deep breaths, focus on what you have to do . . . Do that for 5 seconds. That's enough time. You can do it in 5 seconds. You can put yourself back together and come back to the call , ready to continue.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for what more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1100 episodes, “Job Search Radio,” “and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

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