If you’ve had quite a bit of experience with going on interviews, you know that each interviewer has their own way of approaching an interview. Whether that approach is more friendly or more straight-forward, it’s important to remember that being able to adapt to multiple types of interviewers will be key to your success.
During the interview, your primary focus should be on selling yourself as the best person for the job. However, it’s also important to recognize that the persona your interviewer adopts may have implications for what they’re specifically looking for in their next hire. If you’re able to recognize this, there’s a very good chance that you’ll be able to charm your way into your next job opportunity!
If you’re unsure of the types of interviewers and what they’re looking for, here are four common personas you may run into:
The no-nonsense interviewer
One of the most common types of interviewers you’ll come across is the serious, straight-laced one. You may find this interviewer to be intimidating, but this straight-forwardness can play in your favor. For this type of interviewer, advanced preparation is key. While you don’t want to come off as a robot, knowing your resume inside and out and how your skills relate to the job at hand is what is going to leave a lasting impression.
The best friend
The “best friend” will typically be conversational and chatty, which can make the meeting seem more like a meeting over coffee than an interview. However, don’t think there isn’t a reason for this approach. If you come across this type of interviewer, chances are they prioritize how you’ll fit in with their team and overall company culture. If you believe this to be the case, don’t be afraid to stray somewhat off topic from the role you’re interviewing for. This interviewer knows what skills you bring to the table based on your resume, but showing them that you can get along with their team is what might ultimately win them over.
Have you ever been caught by surprise by an interviewer that makes jokes or light-hearted sarcastic remarks throughout the interview? While might seem off-putting, this type of interviewer might be doing this to measure your interpersonal and reactionary skills. For some managers, having an employee who can maintain their cool in social settings is invaluable. If you find yourself in this type of situation, focus on maintaining your composure and letting your personality shine through.
The disinterested interviewer
Most professionals have a horror story about an interviewer who came off as apathetic and disinterested during an interview. While it is disheartening to come across an interviewer like this, don’t immediately think you don’t have a shot at landing the position. If you find yourself with this type of interviewer, engage them by asking questions that pertain to the position, the interviewer’s expectations, and the team you would be on. It may take some extra effort on your end, but being inquisitive and demonstrating your interest in the position may get the interviewer to see you as more than just a slot in their daily schedule. However, if you are really getting a negative vibe, this might be a sign that the position is not right for you.
While you may come across an interview who firmly identifies with one specific personality type, there’s a very good chance you’re going to come across an interviewer who’s a mix of the personalities listed above. When you find yourself in this type of interview situation, you’ll want to demonstrate that you can naturally adjust to these different interview techniques with ease. This can help prove that you can work well with various personality types, which is something that can set you apart from your competition.