10 Types of Difficult Job Interviewers and How to Deal with Them
When you’re going in for a job interview, ideally you would like to be greeted by someone who is relaxed, approachable, friendly and professional. It would make it easier to follow their relatively straightforward and natural lead. It would put your nerves at ease early on in the meeting and leave room for you to totally ace your answers.
Unfortunately, this perfect interviewer doesn’t always show up. In their place, you might find yourself confronted with a really difficult person, the hiring manager that you have to win over. The one whose approval has become a prerequisite for obtaining your dream job.
Let’s take a look at ten of these difficult interviewers:
This lady might as well be a talking stone wall. She throws out questions in a monotone voice and then stares at you with a blank look on her face when you reply. She offers very little conversation in return and shows absolutely no emotion as she runs robotically through her “list.”
When this guy asks questions, you can barely hear him. He’s unable to maintain eye contact and appears extremely nervous just being in the room. Hopefully it’s because you’re his very first interview as a recruiter.
This guy has an enormous personality and isn’t afraid of using you as his guinea pig to try out his latest comedy routines. His jokes are very inappropriate and you’re not quite sure if he’s just being sarcastic or waiting for a reaction. This type of interviewer makes you feel like you’re not being taken seriously.
She charges at you like a bull as soon as she meets you. She’s all over the place and her questions fire out of her mouth a million miles an hour. She interrupts your questions with her own and intensely nods along as you talk. She maintains full eye contact at all times. This girl is full on!
This guy will stare you down and make you work hard during the interview. He asks difficult, tricky questions that really have no obvious point and/or he phrases questions in a negative way to make it almost appear like an investigation rather than an interview.
This girl just wants to be your BFF! She spends half of the interview asking personal questions about your dog and has an ‘OMG, me too’ response to everything you say. She’s not really interested in your skills or expertise but really wants to know your favorite flavor of ice cream!
This guy makes you feel like you’re an inconvenience and that he has a million other things he could be doing if you weren’t there. His time is more valuable than yours and you’re wasting it. He shoots questions out rapidly and nods before you even speak in an effort to speed things up.
She just seems irritated and offended by every word you speak and has a sour look on her face during the whole interview. You’re draining her of all her energy and she’s really annoyed by you. When you attempt at a little humor, she gives you a look that could melt your face.
This guy is probably the most unorganized interviewer you will ever come across. He has no idea why you’re there, what he’s doing there, what job you’re interviewing for and what he should be asking you. His hair is wild an unkempt and he has coffee stains all over his shirt. It’s clear he’s been asked to step in for someone and he’s doing a bad job of hiding the fact that he’s clueless.
This guy would rather be anywhere else in the world but in an office interviewing you. He constantly yawns when you’re speaking and asks questions that make no sense or come out half-finished and you have to guess the ending just to respond.
How do you deal with these difficult interviewers?
Be aware of social cues as well as the pace and tone being used by the interviewer and try to adapt accordingly. For example, let’s say you’re out on the street and someone recognizes you as they rush by. They’re clearly running late and they quickly wave before continuing on in a mad dash. Would you call out that person’s name and have them stop and tell you how they’ve been, how their day is going and on and on? No, it’s all about knowing when to follow someone’s lead. They’re obviously in a rush so you let them move on.
When confronted by one of the interview types above, you will have to follow their lead. Stay true to yourself and answer honestly and remember not to say what you think they want to hear. Don’t allow their flippant demeanor or intensity make you stumble or get nervous. Don’t take it personally, just stay focused on giving the best interview possible and you’ll do great!