Stuck in a moment: when an interview goes bad

Have you ever been sitting in on an interview with a senior executive, and you can just feel the tone and direction of the conversation change? Your years of media relations, your gut feeling, just tell you that this isn't going turn out well, despite the tasty mochachinos charged to your tab just fifteen minutes ago? You even covered the bagel and lox!
Your spokesperson is being pushed into a difficult area - one he struggled through during your pre-interview:

    "... you get the impression that you are addressing an elaborately wired security system. If the conversation edges toward areas in which he feels ill at ease or unwilling to commit himself, burglar alarms are triggered off, defensive reflexes rise around him like an invisible stockade, and you hear the distant baying of guard dogs..."

That's from Kenneth Tynan's 1978 New Yorker profile of Johnny Carson.