So you’ve got a dream job interview lined up, but you’re not sure what to expect? Don’t worry. You’re definitely not alone. We have all been there.
While no one can promise you exactly what to expect in any given job interview, there are certain “patterns” that have emerged from the interview process over the years. Various corporate cultures and businesses are known to have certain types of interviewers. Here are 5 types of interviewers that you might encounter and how to prepare for them.
1. The Interrogator
The Interrogator is the interviewer who wants to make sure you know your stuff. If you’re looking for a job in technology, you’ll almost certainly encounter one of these.
The Interrogator will question you repeatedly about your particular skill set. You can expect to be asked about the intricacies of your self-professed discipline. You’ll probably even get asked about certain quirks related to your field that you don’t even use in a business environment.
Why? To ensure that you’re not lying on your resume.
How do you prepare to meet the Interrogator? Read and know your resume. Make sure you know everything about every buzzword you put on it. In short, take a refresher course on your skill set and study for the interview. You need to impress the Interrogator with your level of knowledge.
2. The Rule Follower
The Rule Follower will ask you the “cookie cutter” interview questions. Here is just a short list of the questions to prepare for:
- What is your biggest strength?
- What is your biggest weakness?
- What kind of environment do you work best in?
- Do you work better as a team or by yourself?
- Who was your favorite manager and why?
The good news is that you can easily prepare for the Rule Follower by simply anticipating those questions ahead of time and having your answers prepared. Read through a list of the most common interview questions asked and think to yourself how you'd respond to them. It wouldn't hurt to consider writing out your responses and studying them. By expecting those questions and having prepped for them, you should be able to ace them.
3. The No-Nonsense Interviewer
The No-Nonsense Interviewer is the one who never smiles. This may be the interviewer, out of all of the ones that you could meet, who takes filling the position the most seriously.
You shouldn’t expect much visual or audible feedback from the No-Nonsense Interviewer. This is the one who will remain stoic while asking you tough questions about why you’re leaving your current position or how you can contribute to their team.
Prepare for the No-Nonsense Interviewer by ensuring that you present yourself as someone with authority on the subjects about which you speak. You’ll want to come across as a fellow no-nonsense team player that believes in helping the company achieve profitability. Be sure to put your best step forward and be confident, but not boastful. If insecurity is a killer with the No-Nonsense Interviewer, so is disproportionate pride.
4. The Mafia
Have you ever been interviewed by 5, 6, even 7 or more people all at the same time? That’s the Mafia.
When you encounter the Mafia, you’re going to need to be the coolest that you’ve ever been. It’s often the case that being questioned by multiple people at once can seem intimidating, but that’s often the point of Mafia interviews. They want to see if you easily wilt.
To prepare for an interview with the Mafia, consider doing a staged interview with some of your friends. Invite them over for pizza and ask them to conduct a mock interview. They should each question you and remain serious. Sometimes one of your friends should interrupt your answer to another friend’s question. That’s what it will be like in the real interview.
At the end of the mock interview, ask your friends to provide feedback and adjust your responses accordingly.
5. Your Best Friend
You might walk in the door for the interview and be greeted by a warm, smiling face who tells you all about his or her day. That’s Your Best Friend.
When you meet an interviewer like that, feel free to loosen up a bit. You don’t want to sound cold and calculated as you’re talking about your history in technology or project management. Instead, sound warm and friendly. Be a friend back to Your Best Friend.
Of course, not all interviewers fit into one of these 5 criteria. Some may even fit into two or more of them. It all depends on personality, job type, and experience. With that being said, it's best to prepare for any of the above types to be well-rounded. Another huge key point is to be sure to thoroughly read up on the company that you're applying to. It may just be the key to win that interview.
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