Even if you’ve practiced and rehearsed your interview answers until you know them by heart, the one thing you can never predict is the person who’ll be interviewing you. How should you react to each type of interviewer?
The First Timer
Most likely, you’re expecting an interviewer who’s well versed and experienced in interviewing. But occasionally you’ll come across an interviewer who hasn’t conducted an interview before, or who is new to this company’s hiring process, or who is just plain nervous about interviewing.
Even if it appears you’re more experienced with interviewing than the interviewer is, don’t assume the upper hand. Maintain your professionalism and enthusiasm, and avoid getting distracted or thrown off by their style of interviewing.
The Casual Interviewer
Casual interviewers are the ones who talk more than they let you talk, who conduct a relaxed interview style, and who are generally quite friendly. It’s easy to reflect this behavior, but it’s advisable to refrain from doing this.
While it is important to be friendly and confident, getting too relaxed can appear over-confident or not serious about the interview and job. Additionally, if the interviewer talks a lot about the company and the position, but doesn’t ask too many questions, make sure to engage enthusiastically in the conversation, providing great answers whenever you have the opportunity.
The Scripted Interviewer
This is the type of interviewer who asks all the typical interview questions, rarely derailing from their notes. This person is potentially similar to the first time interviewer, who isn’t experienced or comfortable enough going beyond the objective questions. However, it is also a way for the interviewer to have the same relationship with every person who interviews, without making any subjective connections.
It’s likely these questions are similar to ones you’ve prepared for, so answer professionally like you planned. Be careful not to break the routine the interviewer is used to by bringing up another topic or taking your answer on a tangent.
You may feel like you’re at the front of a courtroom when interviewed by this type of interviewer. The questions are fired off by someone who isn’t looking to make friends. They have a job to do and they’re not going to waste time with it.
Rather than feeling intimidated, stay calm and unflustered, taking your time to answer questions professionally. While friendliness is important, avoid being too casual, over enthusiastic, or too friendly.
Everyone has a multi-faceted personality, but this interviewer brings that to their interviewing style too. They start out by-the-books, shooting out questions quickly in a mixed scripted-interrogator style, slowly becoming more relaxed and friendly.
This interviewer may naturally interview in this mixed style, or they’re trying to see how you react to different styles and personalities. Try to remain on an even keel. Don’t get too flustered or too relaxed. If your reactions differ as much as their interview style differs, they may be left wondering which you is the real you, and which one they can expect to see in the workplace.
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