Interviewers have different styles when it comes to assessing an applicant and asking questions. Some do not show any facial expression, while others are more expressive. Some may be kind and accommodating, and some might be very hard to please. Even if you have prepared extensively for the interview and practiced answers to all possible questions, there will still be some uneasiness on your part. You might still get that little twinge of anxiety.
Although interviewers and hiring managers have different personalities, you can still prepare for them in advance and make them like you. Here are four of common types of personalities you might encounter:
1. The Statue—or the one who acts as if he or she does not have any emotions at all.
This kind of interviewer won’t give you any hint of how the interview is going. He or she can destroy your confidence if you’re not ready for this. However, you can still make him or her like you even if you’re clueless about whether you’re doing a great job or not.
How? Take your time to think and form your own answers instead on responding based on what you think he or she wants to hear. Impress your interviewer by showing how knowledgeable you are in the field or position you’re applying for. Most importantly, don’t forget that you are also interviewing him or her, so get past that poker face and ask him or her thoughtful questions regarding the company, including his or her experiences there.
2. The Interrogator—or the one who has a lot of questions.
The Interrogator is the type of interviewer who is eager to see proof or certification for every skill that you have in your resume. He or she is also interested in every move you make in real life and even in your social media activities. How do you turn this inquisitor into a friend?
Carefully listen to every question he asks, and be sure to give a complete answer that will address his concerns. Pick up clues from his questions, and figure out what the company values and needs. Prepare by bringing the materials (portfolio, certificates, diploma, etc.) that he might ask to see. If you forget anything, give him assurance that you will immediately send the information or proof that he needs after the interview.
3. The Persecutor—or the one who always looks intimidating.
Some interviewers tend to intimidate and get carried by the power they have over the interviewee. It’s either because they’ve been in the job for so long that they have already forgotten what it feels like to be an applicant, or it was an existing personality trait that developed during their years in the position. This interviewer will be a tough one, so you’d better prepare for this type, as well.
If you feel pressured, don’t let your guard down and avoid looking anxious. Show him that your knowledge of the industry covers a wide range. Make it clear to him that you can be an asset to the company. If he is hardly impressed by your accomplishments, you can still get back on track by expressing your interest in learning more about the job and the company.
4. The Unprepared—or the one who looks like he or she doesn’t care at all.
This one is the unorganized type of interviewer. He may not have known that he will be conducting interviews right at that moment. In other words, he isn’t prepared. In the end, you might just be the one doing the interview.
However, don’t let this situation quash your hopes of acing that interview. Because he isn’t prepared, he might end up asking you a lot of questions, which is actually advantageous for you. Explain your background, education, areas of expertise, and future career plans carefully. If the interviewer’s unpredictability raises red flags, listen to your intuitions. The interview is a chance for you to get to know the company too.
Always remember that whoever your interviewer is and whatever type of person he or she may be, you need to be professional and fully prepared. Show up early and be polite. Stay confident and never let the pressure affect your mind and body. If you follow these guidelines, it would be a mistake not to hire you.
Written by Alan Carniol