20 Mar 2019

A job interview is expected to be a conversation, just like a trade discussion between two parties; a buyer and a seller trying to ascertain the suitability of the product in addressing the buyer’s identified need(s).

It is common to attend interviews where the interviewer assumes a very hostile and confrontational façade in the course of the interview. Trying very hard to intimidate and subjugate the candidate. Giving the impression that the interview process is some form of contest between the interviewer’s ability to cow and the candidate’s ability to resist.

For some, it is considered a test for withstanding pressure, and unknown to the interviewer, it speaks volume about their organization, as it is projected as being very unfriendly and toxic to its employees, thus limiting the company’s ability to attract quality hires.

The focus of an interview should be on the ‘job specific’ skill requirement and the personality traits and experiences that sufficiently addresses the identified needs of the organization in the role to be filled. And this can only be extracted through a healthy conversation that allows the candidate discuss freely and display evident knowledge and competency or otherwise of the sought after attributes.

It would be more satisfying knowing that a candidate could not justify suitability under calm conditions, than wondering if one’s hostility or aggression as an interviewer might have affected a candidate’s performance negatively.

However, the candidate also has a role to play here. Candidates can transform that confrontational and seeming interrogation to a pleasant discuss by developing story lines in the course of their responses, rather than providing straight up ‘single phrase’ answers. Also, Getting personal with the interviewer and appealing to their fancies by observing critically to identify such fancies with items or symbols around them would help a great deal.