Interrupted interview: why you should always expect the unexpected

Interrupted interview: why you should expect the unexpected
22nd March 2017 handh

Last week, the media world was graced with another adorably wonderful ‘live TV gone-wrong’ moment to add to the history books. We’re certainly not short of them – from the recent Oscars embarrassment when the wrong film was mistakenly named ‘Best Picture’, to that time when unsuspecting BBC job interviewee Guy Noma was erroneously dragged into the wrong interview to talk about an issue he knew nothing about all the way back in 2006.

But the latest live faux-pas didn’t take place on the stage of a prestigious annual event, or in the studio of a world-renowned media giant. It occurred in the most unassuming and inconspicuous of places: a back-room home office.

Much like the Guy Noma gaffe, this gem transpired during a live interview with the BBC. Professor Robert Kelly was busy discussing the current political crisis in South Korea via webcam from his home there. Initially, everything was ordinary – the interview was going swimmingly, and Kelly was clearly keen to ensure that it was conducted as professionally as possible despite the great geographical gulf of over 5000 miles.

But this could not prevent the hilariously heart-warming mishap that followed. Part-way through the interview, Kelly had to contend with every homeworking parent’s worst nightmare – as his broadcast was interrupted by his two young children, innocently and unashamedly ambling into the room.

Cue Kelly gallantly struggling to press on whilst simultaneously attempting to keep his young daughter under control; cue his baby son making a comically grand entrance rolling in on a baby walker; and cue his wife hurriedly dashing in and unceremoniously removing them from the room. Are you cringing yet?

What might make this ‘aww’-inducing incident so terrifying for many of us is that it poses a real genuine possibility. While we’re probably not going to end up announcing the Oscar winners or turning up for the wrong interview at the BBC, having something go unexpectedly wrong in the workplace or while working from home is something that we can likely all connect with.

How frequently technology has decided to not play along for that important video conference; those heart-stopping moments when an obtrusive, blaring noise refuses to subside during a crucial phone call; the infuriating times when a seemingly insurmountable obstacle rears its head hours before a project deadline.

We all face frequent ‘live’ moments during our careers, and as the business world gets ever more bustling and remote working becomes increasingly popular, we’ll likely encounter more and more of them in the future.

So perhaps Professor Kelly’s mortifying mishap serves as a pertinent reminder of the importance of planning ahead for any potential problems we may face – and always expecting the unexpected.