You can say no without saying no
I would imagine most of you have had someone interrupt an interview with some sort of request. One thing that’s really important when it comes to handling requests—a drink of water, use of the toilet, a telephone call, things of that nature—is that you should not say no. Even though you might deny such a request, you don’t want to do so in a way that creates an adversarial relationship with your subject. Think about it like this: nobody likes being told no.
If you get a request like, “Hey, can I go to the toilet?”, think about handling it in a professional, adult manner. Even though you might be inclined to deny the request, say something like, “Absolutely, you’ll be able to use the toilet as soon as we get through a couple of quick things here. Let’s wrap this up and then we can step outside. Let’s get through this first.”
A response like this still allows you to deny the request - if you are choosing to do so - but in a more compassionate manner; one that allows you to maintain rapport through the entire conversation. Again, when it comes to handling requests, what you should think about is: Are you handling it professionally, and in a way that still maintains a good, positive relationship with your subject?
by Chris Norris, CFI