Candidates are well prepared for the worst on interview day. Ask most bloggers and they’ll tell you that much of their traffic comes from searches on the topic. But are recruiters prepared for what can go wrong during or just before an interview?

For the most part, recruiters and the hiring team prepare for a process to go exactly as planned. However, as many talent acquisition specialists know all too well, there are a number of nightmare scenarios that can happen with an interview. Here are 4 different situations and how best to handle them.

  1. The Candidate Doesn’t Show Up

This one is especially painful. Whether you’re an in-house recruiter or sending candidates to your clients, a no call/no show stings and can hurt trust between the candidate and recruiter as well as the recruiter and their team.

Reminder messages and calendar invites on the days leading up the interview are always helpful. Recruiters should also try calling the night before and/or the morning of to confirm with the candidate. If the candidate is getting cold feet, you’ll get the hint by the tone of their voice or when they ignore your call attempts.

In this situation, it’s best to move on from the candidate unless they get back to you quickly with a reason for their failure to show. Most recruiters rely on a strict “two strikes and you’re out” policy with no-shows.

  1. The Hiring Manager is Rude to the Candidate

Candidates prepare for tricky, off-topic, and even completely weird interview questions, but they don’t always prepare for poor treatment from the interview team. If someone on the hiring team senses the candidate isn’t what they’re looking for early in the interview, they may react rudely and write off the candidate without realizing it.

If an experienced recruiter is in the room with the candidate, they can diffuse the situation by taking control of the questions and addressing the hiring manager after the meeting. If they’re not present during the interview, then hopefully they’re able to find out quickly and apologize to the candidate before this negative experience makes it way online, potentially damaging the employer brand.

All members of the team should be placed in interview training that covers not just the process, but also the legality of questions and how to conduct themselves throughout an interview.

  1. An Important Interview Team Member Cancels Last Minute

Your candidate is sitting in the lounge waiting for the interview to start and that’s when you get the email. Someone on the team has an important emergency and isn’t going to be able to make the interview. What do you do?

It’s best to press on with the interview and explain to the candidate that they’ll be meeting with one more person on the team at another time. While initially, they might be annoyed, setting them up for a live video interview will save them the time and frustration of having to come back.

Understanding that emergencies do happen, stress to the hiring team the importance of making interviews a priority. Explain how poor experiences negatively impact the employer brand and how that affects future hiring.

  1. Your Candidate Freezes Up on the Interview

The most common phobia is the fear of public speaking and interviewing is a clear form of public speaking. We’ve all been there to see our confident candidate go white and fumble their words on the interview. When you’ve had high hopes for the candidate that you feel is a perfect fit for your company, here’s how you can calm them down before self-destruction.

Put the interview on pause and let the candidate know that just as you’re interviewing them, they’re also here to evaluate the company. Whether or not you offer them the position, it’s up to them to decide if your company is a place they’d want to work. Explain that your team is just as nervous about making a good impression. Rather than wait until the end of the interview, let your candidate answer some questions now to flip the switch.

What are some other disasters you’ve had to deal with on interview day? Let us know by sending us a tweet to @goWepow.