2. The awkward silence
It’s not uncommon for there to be a gap in conversation during an interview. You’re waiting for the hiring manager to introduce the next topic, and instead, they say nothing.
While a brief silence might feel awkward, Welch says it’s sometimes a deliberate effort to force the interviewee to speak up and take control.
“The first time this happened to me was when I was an MBA,” she says. “I almost fainted, it was so bizarre. But then I remembered a tip I’d once heard: Smile like nothing is the matter, and ask, ‘What else can I tell you about myself and my work experiences?’ I tried it, and on we went.”
3. The multi-person interview
Welch says one of the most common interview traps is having a candidate meet with multiple people at once.
“It’s intended to put you in an awkward position,” she says, “especially when it’s a surprise, or a good-cop, bad-cop set-up.”
In this situation, Welch says you want to be sure not to fold under pressure.
“That’s the whole point,” she says. “Stay poised, and make absolutely sure you give each person in the room equal eye contact and attention. When you say goodbye, say goodbye to everyone, using their names.”
Job interviews can be difficult even without the unexpected traps that might be laid for you. That’s why, Welch says, you need to “be ready to side-step these three like your dream job depends on it — it just might.”