Despite the fact that a majority of interviews may go off without a hitch, there are those times when things turn awkward. Yet it’s still important for candidates and hiring managers to remain as professional as possible throughout the entire process even when they encounter those difficult situations. If you’re searching for a construction job, and you receive an invitation to an interview, plan ahead so things don’t get weird.

Stay Calm

The interview process is a stressful event for many candidates and it’s certainly not uncommon to feel anxious about it. Protis Global, a recruiting firm headquartered in Miami, FL, had an amusing expression regarding a particular kind of interview: “It’s a done deal unless they throw up on themselves.” This essentially means that in this case, they’ve already been interviewed at least once or twice, and everyone knew he was a great fit. The interview was largely an opportunity to pitch the offer and negotiate terms. The firm had one such interview lined up, and it just so happens that the candidate that had to excuse himself to throw-up due to nerves!

Needless to say, Protis Global had to change the expression to “They can throw up on their self and it’s still a done deal.” Luckily, the candidate still received a job offer.

In cases like this, it’s important to keep your nerves in check by preparing for the interview in advance. Also, arrive early, think positively and…just breathe. If you know you have a nervous stomach, take some Dramamine in advance.

Weird Scenarios and How to Avoid Them

Here are some other strange interview scenarios along with tips to avoid them:

  • Don’t drink coffee once you’re dressed for the interview. One recruiter recapped the story of a candidate who was drinking a cup of coffee in the parking lot and it spilled on their white shirt right before the interview. Also avoid eating sloppy foods prior to an interview.
  • Put your phone away and turn it off completely. It’s a sign of respect. Hiring managers become very annoyed by candidates that are constantly checking their phones during interviews.
  • Avoid commenting on people’s appearances. One particular candidate was rejected by the company after commenting how “hot” the receptionist was as soon as he arrived.
  • Arrange reliable transportation. One candidate’s mother had to drive him to the interview and had to cut it short because his mother had an appointment.
  • Stay in the conference room. Avoid wandered around chatting, asking employees questions and, invading people’s personal space.
  • Avoid getting locked in. One candidate arrived 15 minutes early for a 5:00 pm interview but didn’t announce to anyone that he arrived before settling in to the conference room. The company thought he was a no-show, locked up and went home for the day. Luckily, they were able to walk him through a phone interview. Be sure to let someone know when you’ve arrived for the interview!


There are also some mishaps that hiring managers should avoid as well. For instance, one candidate reported hearing a shouting match going on in the background during the interview. Prepare your team for upcoming interviews and make sure everyone is on their best behavior.

One final tip that applies mainly to candidates, but even employees should take heed. Many companies review social media sites, like Facebook, when they are reviewing candidates. Candidates are encouraged to check their privacy settings & delete anything that could be considered unprofessional to potential employers.

How can we help you?

Searching for an opportunity in the construction industry? Contact The Birmingham Group today to discuss your career path or browse our open positions.

Are you a hiring authority needed construction talent? Submit a search request today.