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Three Interviewers to Prepare For

September 18th, 2015

As you put the finishing touches on your elevator pitch, map out the route to your venue, and take care of your other last minute pre-interview preparations, add one more detail to the list. Not all interviewers are the same, and there’s more than one approach to the candidate selection process. But distinct patterns tend to arise all the same, and there’s a strong chance that you may encounter any one of these three common interview types as you step in the door and sit down to begin your session. Be ready.

The Friendly Face

This interviewer will put you at ease immediately. As soon as you see his smiling face coming across the lobby to greet you, your blood pressure will drop and your nervous tension will fade away. Your interview will feel like a conversation with an old friend, and you’ll find yourself sharing your true feelings and talking easily and openly about your skills, passions, and plans for the future. There’s nothing wrong with this scenario, and this is the sign of a great interviewer and a promising company. But be careful. Don’t be fooled; this person is not your friend, and even though he seems fascinated by everything you say, he’s reading between the lines and conducting an evaluation that’s shrewd and entirely self-interested. Keep a close eye on your words and gestures.

The Bored Interviewer

This interviewer seems distracted and disinterested in the process at hand. She’s asking questions, but she isn’t really listening to the answers, and she seems to take every opportunity to turn away from you, scan her email, check her phone, or gaze out the window. If you walked away, you’re not sure she would notice. And the longer you stay, the more bored and irritated she seems to become. But again, be careful. Choose your words with caution. Because she IS listening, even if hers isn’t the only opinion influencing the outcome of this decision.

The Confrontational Person

This interviewer makes a seemingly deliberate attempt to appear obnoxious, hostile, cold, or intimidating. He takes every opportunity to scowl at you as you speak and he tends to cross examine each of your responses as if you’re saying or doing something wrong. He appears to believe that this job is a golden reward offered from on high, instead of mutual exchange of labor for a fair salary. His demeanor may be off-putting, and he may be making a poor impression on behalf of the company, but be patient. As far as possible, stay polite and humble. Give this person and this company a chance…After you’ve landed this job and settled in, you may be glad you kept things in perspective.

For more on what to expect from the interview process, contact the staffing and job search team at Merritt Staffing.

Four Types of Interviewers: How to Approach Each One

April 27th, 2012

Your interview preparation process may be intense and thoough, but no matter how confident you may feel before your interview, one unexpected or off-putting gesture from an interviewer might cause you to stumble and lose focus for a moment. So with that in mind, we’ve assembled a list of common approaches and personality traits that often show up among hiring managers and sometimes throw candidates for a loop. Be ready for each of these types of interviewers, and know what to do when you see them coming.

1. Types of Interviewers: The Friendly Interviewer

The friendly interviewer greets you with a warm handshake, makes you feel welcome and respected, and is perfectly comfortable with off-topic chit chat. Around people like this, we tend to open up and set aside our inhibitions. This is great, since honesty and openness contribute to a meaningful interview on both sides of the table. But just remember: your levels of disclosure are not equal. And though this interviewer is happy to draw you out, he’s not here to be your friend. He’s here to serve the company. So relax, but not too much. Enjoy your conversation, but continue to think carefully before you speak.

2. Types of Interviewers: The Stickler

The stickler is less likely to wander off-topic, and an interview with her may seem more like an oral exam. She conducts interviews by-the-book, in exact accordance with protocol. When you encounter the stickler, don’t qualify your answers too much, don’t get too chummy, and don’t become flustered if she drives the conversation forward in a robotic way. She has a task to do and she’s just trying to do it correctly. Help her by answering her questions as clearly, directly, and completely as you can.

3. Types of Interviewers: The Specific Searcher

The specific searcher gives the impression that she’s looking for something, and it’s not something she’s likely to state upfront. There’s not much you can do about this one. She may be looking for a clone of the person who held the position before you, or she may be scanning your answers for keywords and red flags. Just relax and be honest. If you’re a leader, don’t pretend to be a follower because you sense that’s what she wants. By the same token, don’t pretend to be competitive if you’re a team player, and don’t sell yourself as the unstructured type if you thrive in a structured, organized workplace. Just be yourself. Trying to second guess her intentions will only cause confusion for both of you.

4. Types of Interviewers: The Questionable Future Employer (aka the Jerk)

Does your interview feel like an interrogation? Does the interviewer try to fluster, anger, or intimidate you? Does he accuse you of misstating your credentials, or ask you to list and describe your weaknesses? Does he ask silly, demeaning questions designed to test your “sense of humor”? If your conversation seems to be following this pattern, something’s wrong. Feel free to stay for the duration of the interview if you like, but re-examine your interest in the position. Is this really a person you’d like to work with every day? Remember, an interview is a two sided interaction. Follow your instincts, and don’t commit to a job that doesn’t feel right.

For more help with interview preparation and the job search process in general, reach out to your local recruitment agency in Fairfield County at Merritt Staffing.

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