For example, if your interviewer is distracted and doesn’t meet your eyes when you are talking, you might be dealing with “The Absentee.” Perhaps he is just having a bad day or didn’t have time to prepare (or doesn’t know how). The best response? Have a clear message you can express in simple terms. If he cuts the interview short, you can offer to come back another time, but the best thing to do is make sure you follow up in case you can catch him at a better moment.
I came across an article written by Doug Hardy of Monster.com about the “6 Types of Interviewers" and thought you might be interested in Artisan's take on how to handle them.
Of course, the secret is figuring out what kind of interviewer you have as quickly as possible by assessing their body language - so that you can tailor your style to theirs.
A tough, abrupt and perhaps even unfriendly interviewer might be “The Inquisitor.” This is a no nonsense interview - the kind no one looks forward to. Don’t make the mistake of assuming this interviewer doesn’t like you or you won’t get the job. If you can handle this interview with confidence and poise, she will respect you and possibly even become your advocate - if you can pass her test.
Find yourself answering a bunch of unrelated questions at a rapid-fire pace? You may have encountered “The Shotgun.” Preparation pays off with this kind of interviewer - especially knowing your strengths and accomplishments. Be ready with stories of projects on which you excelled and you’ll be ready for whatever comes next.
Insidious, “The Buddy” can lure you into talking about your personal life instead of your professional one. Be friendly and calm, but don’t take the bait. Steer the conversation back to the job and your skillset as soon as you can.
“The Silver Bullet” has a plan and one question which he thinks will reveal the perfect candidate. Unfortunately, he’s already decided what answer he is looking for and you might not hit the target. He will ask an unusual interview question and sit back and watch you writhe. Keep your cool. Start with “I have to think about that one for a minute,” and come up with something simple and professional.
Last but not least, “The Laser Beam” has only one issue on her mind. Go with it and worry about other issues when you get to the next stage of interviews. This type of interviewer will really appreciate technical language and specificity.
No interviewer is perfect, but no candidate gives a perfect interview, either. If you can keep your wits about you enough to figure out which type you are dealing with, you can make every interview count!
Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative