Once you’ve landed a job interview, your best strategy is lots of preparation. Aside from preparing answers to key questions, it can help to understand the types of interviewers you may encounter, and the best ways to handle each type. Following are four of the most common interviewer personalities.

Four common types of interviewers

When you enter your interview, you can never be 100 percent certain who you’ll meet. It could be:

  1. The talkative interviewer. When you’re interviewing with a talkative person, it can be hard to get a word in edgewise. In this case, wait until you’re asked a question, and then respond with the information you’re prepared to answer. Try to maintain a friendly, upbeat tone, but also don’t forget you’re in an interview. Overly friendly interviewers can make it easy to let your guard down and share inappropriate stories. Try to remain professional at all times.
  2. The rapid-fire question-and-answer interviewer. Some interviewers wish to get straight to the point and onto the next interview. If your interviewer is simply firing a list of questions at you, just remain calm and give your answers. If you have an opportunity to expand on an answer, do so, but mostly try to keep pace with this interviewer’s style. If you need time to think before you answer, it’s OK to pause to formulate the best answer possible.
  3. The hard-to-read interviewer. Your interviewer might conduct your interview with a blank expression, making it hard to gauge their reaction to your performance. If this is the case, simply do the best you can. You’ve worked hard to get to this point and prepared your interview answers accordingly. Answer their questions in a friendly, professional way and don’t worry about looking for clues as to how you’re doing.
  4. The disinterested interviewer. Sometimes interviewers are appointed to the task of conducting interviews when they want to be doing anything else. If your interviewer doesn’t seem to be making much eye contact or listening to what you have to say, it’s possible their mind was made up before even entering the room. Be friendly and confident, and don’t take it personally. Answer their questions as you would any other interviewer and hope for the best.

Use your interview as a learning tool

The bottom line is to try to remain calm and professional regardless of the interview style. Remember that an interview is just as much about you as it is about the job itself, and can be an important tool to help you decide whether or not you want to work for the company. If you can identify the type of interviewer you’re dealing with, it can give you a clue as to the company culture. This can help you make your choice, should you be offered the position.

Looking for your next position?

Once you’ve brushed up on your interview technique, check out McGrath Systems. We work with candidates for placement in the fields of engineering, administration, information technology, human resources and marketing. To learn more about our open job opportunities, contact one of our experienced recruiters today.


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