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Eight Types of Interviewing

In an ideal world, all hiring managers would be highly skilled at conducting an effective job interview. They would ask intelligent questions about your work-related competencies and experience, while providing you with a solid understanding of the company and open position.

Unfortunately, not all prospective employers are master interviewers. Regardless of the type of interviewer you meet, there are ways to maintain your composure and leave a positive impression.

Type of Interviewer

Definition

How to Manage

Inquisitor Dispense with small talk and gets down to business of interrogating you. Will fire a barrage of questions at you, perhaps even taking a slightly accusatory tone. Don't expect friendly chit-chat. Best bet is to remain calm and briefly pause before answering each question, which will allow you to collect your thoughts and control the tempo.
Talkaholic Provides too much information, most of which has little relevancy to the open position. Don't try to interrupt. Try to steer the discussion when the opportunity to speak arises and link back to your skills and qualifications for the job.
Robot Doesn't deviate from the script, asks only basic questions, appears to be disengaged. Enliven the discussion by asking questions of your own. Getting the interviewer off script might enable you to develop a rapport.
Unprepared Completely unfamiliar with your job-application materials, asks questions that could easily be answered with a cursory glance at your resume. Be sure to reiterate your major selling points highlighted on your resume. Ask to talk about a few of your key qualifications after the interviewer concludes their list of questions.
Newbie Inexperienced and intimidated, appears nervous, might encounter stammering, awkward pauses, disjointed flow of conversation. Maintain your poise and don't let the interviewer's nervousness transfer to you. Request a tour of the office to fill in information gaps if the interviewer is unable to answer your questions.
Multitasker Fields phone calls, sends faxes, responds to emails, instant messaging during the meeting; easily sidetracked. Grin and bear it. If it continues, offer to reschedule. Re-evaluate your interest in the job.
Tester Plays mind games, ask trick questions designed to fluster you. Thrives on your uneasiness. Stay on your toes, keep your cool, and answer with confidence. Show you can deftly handle the pressure.
Inappropriate Probes into your religious or political beliefs, race, age, marital status, or home life. Be polite and tactful, yet matter-of-fact. Explain you want to focus on your professional skills. If it continues, explain that you prefer to end the meeting.