No two hiring managers or job interviews will ever be the same, but there are some things you can count on and prepare for. Typically, the people who conduct interviews fall into four major categories. These are the four types of interviewers you’re most likely to encounter on your job search and tips for handling each one.
The No-Nonsense Interviewer
If you’ve ever tried to be friendly with an interviewer and all you got back was a stone face, you’ve met a No-Nonsense Interviewer. These folks take their job very seriously and aren’t interested in light-hearted chatter with candidates. It can be nearly impossible to gauge body language or voice cues from this type of interviewer, as they tend to remain stoic throughout the conversation.
If you meet a No-Nonsense Interviewer, focus on presenting yourself with confidence and authority. Showcase the results you’ve achieved on the job and the value you bring to the table, but try not to come off as arrogant. No-Nonsense types are as averse to overconfidence as they are to lack of confidence.
The Interrogator is similar to the No-Nonsense Interviewer in that they take the interview very seriously. They tend to barrage candidates with questions – many that have nothing to do with the job – in an effort to gauge your honesty.
The best way to ace an interview led by an Interrogator is to be honest at all times and remain even-keeled, even if you’re feeling frustrated by the intensity of the questioning. Their objective is to shake you, and if they succeed, they will assume you’re hiding something.
Group interviews can be extremely intimidating, forcing you to face off with four, five or even more people at once. Sometimes, group interviews occur as a matter of scheduling but most often, they are designed to make you feel maximum pressure.
No matter how intimidated you feel in a group interview, remain calm and confident, address each person directly when they ask a question, and if two people talk at once and you need clarification, don’t be afraid to ask. Your objective is to show them you can maintain a cool head and confidence in high-pressure situations.
The Best Friend
The least intimidating interviewer of all is the Best Friend. This person greets you warmly, engages in small talk and goes out of their way to make you feel comfortable. This might make you feel loose and it’s fine to mimic their warmth, but don’t get so comfortable you overshare.
Not every interviewer you meet will fit into one of these categories – some may move between categories throughout the course of the interview, but it’s important to understand the types of people and strategies you’re likely to encounter.
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