It’s not just interviewees that need to be well prepared, interviewers need to be too; and there is nothing more time consuming than dealing with a difficult interviewee. Here is our guide to making those difficult interviews go a little smoother.
The “Quiet” Jobseeker: Reticent, quiet jobseekers require plenty of ice-breakers. Talk about non-threatening areas of their experience. It is helpful to get them talking as quickly as possible, and accept their initial answers without excessive probing. It may help to give them “situation” questions where they have to think through a problem and outline a solution.
The “Suspicious” Jobseeker: Suspicious jobseekers are not suspicious of you, rather the interview questions. They require a clear explanation of format and purpose of the interview, so flag up areas of questioning in advance.
The “Talkative” Jobseeker: Overly talkative jobseekers often use over-disclosure as a strategy. You may find it helpful to “close” them down, keeping them on track, by using prompts like “tell me briefly about…”, and also use summaries and closed questions to maintain control. Don’t be too polite to interupt them and/or change the subject.
The “Assertive” Jobseeker: The assertive interviewee will attempt to score points over you during the interview. It is important that you re-assert control where necessary by introducing new question topics, probing, and summarising. Raise the level of questions in order to get the candidate thinking more about the subject matter than the progress of the interview.
The “Vague” Jobseeker: Vague candidates need probing to check knowledge and skills, do not accept their’ own assertions of their skill levels – seek evidence of what they have actually done.
The “Poor Listener”: Where an interviewee has poor listening skills, repeat questions to maintain focus, or rephrase them to make them simpler.
Whether you are an experienced interviewer or preparing to meet your very first candidate, knowing a few fundamentals of employment interviewing will help you conduct efficient and effective interviews. The job interview remains key to assessing an individual’s cultural fit.
Remember – A planned approach enables you to make comparisons between applicants more easily.