5 Things To Know About Every Job Interviewer

Here we’ll discuss 5 basic job interviewer characteristics to be aware of based on the Harvard Business Times article, “Becoming a Better Judge of People.”

414691892_4188830a78_mI’ve often placed a lot of faith, maybe too much, in authority figures. My parents, my teachers, people “higher up” than me: I have considered them to be all-knowing entities incapable of mistakes. Over the years, this faith transformed into intimidation. And the most intimidating authority figure of them all? The job interviewer.

In my mind, a job interviewer is some sort of information machine. You feed your answers in, his/her computer brain establishes whether your answer is correct or not, and in the end, the person with the highest score gets the job.

But, of course, it’s not like this. No, as Anthony K. Tjan’s article for the Harvard Business Times, “Becoming a Better Judge of People” the interviewer’s job is far more complicated. He or she has a lot of information to consider and a lot of decisions to make. This information and these decisions vary from job-to-job, but there are certain characteristics that are consistent across the board.

So, here are the five things you need to know about all job interviewers:

1. They’re as scared of you as you are of them: It’s easy in this job market to devalue yourself. There are millions of people out of work, so the interviewer has pick of the litter, right? Wrong! Interviewers are nervous too. They don’t want to say, “No thanks,” to the industry’s next up-and-coming hotshot.

2. They’re not easily fooled: As Tjan says, “There is nothing flattering about false praise, or people trying too hard to impress.” Laughing wildly at an interviewer’s passing joke or discussing one of the company’s simple procedures as if it’s on the cutting edge is only going to show your insincerity.

3. They might ask you to bring your significant other along: Wait, what? This is something that happens? The interviewer can “go out with [the interviewee’s] spouse, partner, or closest friend”? Maybe this makes sense for high-level execs, but I’ll be totally honest, if an interviewer asks me to bring my girlfriend along for an interview, I won’t show up.

4. They’re watching it all: The interview isn’t just the questions; it’s the stuff between the questions too. Be thoughtful while engaging small talk about books or movies. If you’re doing an interview over lunch, don’t be lame to the waiter. If you’re walking out of the interviewer’s office building, be polite to the receptionist. Nobody wants to hire a jerk.

5. They’ll keep interviewing you after you’ve left: Tjan discusses the airport test and the drive test. Basically the interviewer considers how he or she would feel stuck in an airport or on a road trip with the candidate. What this means for you, the job candidate, is that you’re not just interviewing in the now; you’re building a clear enough version of yourself to keep the interview going long after you’ve left. So, do everything you can to make it a good, complete, and honest version.

What do you think about this? Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments!

(photo by Flickr user Jacob Bøtter used under a Creative Commons License.)

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