In part 1 I shared why learning the different interviewing styles is a waste of time. Better to make sure you’ve thoroughly done your interview preparation. Recognizing a particular style won’t alter how you feel about the interaction between yourself and the interviewer. In fact, because you’re focusing on the style, it may cause you to rationalize personality traits you should pay attention to.
For instance, you run into an interviewer who uses a behavioral style and throws a little “stress technique” in there. He wants to make you sweat. You feel as if you’re under a bright light – he’s grilling you, and you might as well have been fingerprinted. There’s no need to get all worked up (besides, he wants you to). If that’s his interview style, what do you think it will be like reporting to him?
The answer to that should calm you down. You won’t care what he thinks, because you probably won’t want to return. Good money? Eventually you’ll hate your boss, then you’ll hate your job, then your life will be hell, because the salary won’t be worth it. Short drive? Eventually you’ll hate your boss, then you’ll hate your job then your life will be hell, because the drive will still be too long – you won’t want to go where you’re driving. Great advancement promised? After how long? How many people have quit because their boss was a jerk?
If you want to work for a control freak or someone who needs to appear tough and all-knowing, you’ve found the place. If he’s rapid firing questions at you, hoping to trip you up, let him feel important. Finish the interview and cross the company off your list.
If your first interview is with human resources, sometimes they’re crisply detailed, lofty, and attempt to intimidate you. Don’t let it throw you. If you know yourself, what you’re looking for, and have done your research on the company, you’re less likely to get flustered.
Others are adept at giving you enough rope to hang yourself, but don’t be lulled into a warm, cozy camaraderie. Watch their visual cues – which can be subtle. Follow your instinct, but follow their lead. They’re screeners, but in that sense, they’re also decision makers.
There are different interview styles, just as there are different types of people. The hiring authority’s interviewing style is usually reflective of his personality. Stay aware of what’s happening at the moment, what you’re saying, what you’re learning, and how you’re feeling about what’s taking place.
The more you’ve done your homework in accordance with what I’ve suggested, the more relaxed you’ll feel. The more relaxed you feel, the more confident and in control of your answers you’ll be, and the less likely you’ll be to get flustered by trying to conform to a specific style.
Put effort into making sure you know what your skills are, what gets you excited about going to work, and under what type of management style you flourish. Know your accomplishments and how they relate to what the company is looking for. Be aware of what motivates you and what turns you off. Spend time learning about the company with whom you’ll be interviewing instead of trying to prepare for an interview style you can’t possibly anticipate.
Finding your perfect job is about you being real about who you are, not trying to respond in a favorable manner to some style in hopes that this will endear you to them and give you a better shot at the job.
Because when you’re real about who you are and know what you’re looking for, it doesn’t matter what style you encounter. You’ll be comfortable with any style you meet. And when they want you to come back for another interview, you can decide if you want to….or not.
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