Career builder recently conducted a survey and canvassed 2500 HR professionals and leaders asking the worst interview flubs experienced. As I read the article I was transported back quite a few years to one of my earliest experiences as an HR leader responsible for interviewing talent in the corporate office of a large retail department store. In the midst of an interview a young man leaned back in his chair, tipped it over and flipped over the back of the chair. No, this was not an interview for the circus but a project manager position in the supply chain division of the company.
Not knowing whether to gasp or laugh, I did the only thing I could think of — nothing! I did not address the gymnastics and the candidate was very grateful. I learned a valuable lesson, silence is golden. My mother was correct. That lesson has served me many times during my career when I have been functioning as a recruiter and interviewing. When I have been faced with an awkward situation, I have learned that the best course of action is to pause, take a breath, and allow the candidate to continue with their thoughts. Interviews can get crazy and we all have stories to tell, but restraint and respect can be your guide.