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As if you need another reason to dread an interview, here comes an article on what employers are really thinking during your time with them in that one on one conversation you’re hoping will go smoothly and will ultimately lead to a job offer. While the interviewer may have your undivided attention, odds are, you don’t have his. But don’t take it personally – chalk it up to human nature. His plate’s full already and he likely is awkward conducting an interview – even if it is his job. A. Harrison Barnes, career coach and founder of says it’s the new business model: it’s all about multi-tasking and doing more with less, including our time.

So, how do you know his attention is elsewhere? It’s not difficult to spot. Your goal is to gracefully keep the attention on you, your skills and why you’re the solution to his problem. While you may be thinking, “Why would I want to waste my time with someone who is not even paying attention?” It is frustrating, but you have to remember it’s not a deliberate attempt to disrespect you or the process. It can be, however, a sign that you’re losing his interest. It is highly unlikely you’ll walk into an office and not see a computer monitor. We’re trained, after all these years, to keep a close eye on unopened emails and if your interviewer catches an unopened email out of the corner of his eye, odds are, he’s going to take his attention from you to that tempting email, if for no other reason, to be sure it’s not something that requires his quick attention. Your best bet is to perhaps ask a question that will divert his attention back to the here and now. Something like, “You mentioned the position required travel? Do you anticipate regional travel or will it require travel all over the country?” If whatever that email is happens to be urgent, he’ll pause long enough, apologize and say, “I’m so sorry, can you please give me just a minute?” Odds are, though, you’ve reclaimed your top spot and he’ll focus on answering your question. Another tip offered by A. Harrison Barnes is to shift in your seat. You might move slightly forward or even cross or uncross your legs. Remember, though, it’s the interviewer’s ball game and it’s possible there will be awkward block of time that you must wait for him to reply to an email.

Another sign you’re losing interest is if your interviewer leans back in his chair with his BlackBerry or other PDA. He’s subconsciously distanced himself from you and has the PDA to serve as another barrier. Again, it may not be indicative of a loss of interest, but rather, it could be his teen texted him or he’s checking the stock market. At this point, again, you’ll want to distract him by commenting or asking a question that will require his attention. Reference your resume and say, “As you can see, I have more than ten years accounting experience.”

Finally, it may be that he’s already selected the person he wants, but is simply going through the motions. The fact is, you just don’t know. Remember, though, even if you know before you ever even leave his office this accounting job is not for you, keep moving forward. has thousands of jobs with interviewers who are quite interested in your skills and capabilities and who aren’t easily distracted. It’s just a matter of finding that right fit.

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