You’ve nailed the interview prep: Your outfit is impeccable and professional. Your handshake is perfect. You’ve mock-interviewed and feel confident and ready to answer some questions.
But have you prepared yourself for the type of interviewer you might encounter?
Employers have various ways of asking questions and determining if someone is right for the job – and the company.
Here are five different types of interviewers you may encounter, and tips on how to play to each interviewer’s style:
- The Traditionalist. Your interviewer is going to ask you “typical” interview questions: What’s your greatest strength? What do you consider your weakness? The interview is unlikely to go off-script.
Tip: Follow the routine. Answer each question clearly – avoid going on tangents. Mind your manners and ask questions about the company or opportunity when appropriate. It’s what you trained for, so be confident and professional.
- The Best Bud. This interviewer smiles frequently, is really engaging and makes you feel like you’ve been friends forever. They do most of the talking during the interview. They share a lot about the company, the opportunity, and may not ask a lot of questions
Tip: It’s tempting to be as casual as the interviewer in this situation, but it’s still an interview. Engage eagerly with your interviewer, but be professional. Don’t overshare. Show your excitement for the opportunity. Look for opportunities to ask questions.
- The Investigator. Don’t expect small talk. This interviewer doesn’t want to be your friend and doesn’t have time to waste. They have a list of questions and are going to get right to it.
Tip: This interviewer may intimidate you. Stay focused. Stay calm. Answer questions clearly and concisely. Ask pertinent questions. Be friendly, but avoid extra chatter.
- The Rookie. This person is new to interviewing and may be just as nervous as you.
Tip: Maintain your professionalism and be respectful. Don’t take control of the interview and don’t assume superiority over your interviewer. Regardless of how uncomfortable they are with interviewing, they determine the successfulness of your interview.
- The Poker Face. This interviewer will remain deadpan for the duration of the interview. You will get zero feedback.
Tip: Don’t overthink the situation. Answer their questions. Stay cool and collected. Don’t assume you’re doing badly.
Every interviewer is different. The key to success is to be adaptable and not to panic. If your interviewer doesn’t seem to fit into one of these five categories, just breathe and follow their lead.
You know what you bring to the table. Show them what you have to offer!
If you are partnering with a staffing firm on your job search, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Many agencies offer interview help to their employees.
At Masiello, we offer interview assistance designed to help you avoid common interview mistakes. We have several other resources available to job seekers as well. For more information, don’t hesitate to contact the experienced recruiting team at Masiello. We’re here to help!