Job interviews can be nerve-racking. You can prepare all you want and anticipate what they might ask, but they always seem to ask you something you didn’t anticipate.
We want you to succeed in your next interview and land your dream job, so we’ll give you some pointers. These are seven hidden tricks that employers use in job interviews to determine if you’re a good fit.
Wouldn’t it be great if job interviews were always so straightforward? There will be no guessing, no stupid questions, just regular inquiries about your previous experience and what you will bring to this new job. Unfortunately, job interviews are about as simple as people.
Employers aren’t just looking to see if you’re qualified for the job; they’re also looking to see if you’ll fit in with the team and share their values. They’re not just interested in what you can do; they’re also interested in who you are.
As a result, they frequently employ some pretty clever little tricks to figure that out. Many of these tricks you will not even consider or notice. We, on the other hand, have caught on and are here to give you the inside scoop.
Keep these tips in mind the next time you go in for an interview, and you’ll be sure to ace it.
The Coffee Scam
Have you ever been in a job interview where you were offered a drink – coffee, tea, juice, soda, or water? While they are attempting to be polite, there could be another reason. They’re looking forward to seeing what you’ll do with the cup at the end of the interview.
Will you inquire what you should do with the used cup or where it should be disposed of? Will you go straight to the kitchen, wash it, and put it away without prompting?
Will you simply leave it there for someone else to handle? Trent Innes, managing director of Xero Australia, spoke openly about how and why he employs this strategy. He says it’s all about hiring people who share his values, starting with simple things like keeping the kitchen clean.
“We want to make sure we have people who feel ownership,” he said. “Culture is built from the ground up.”
The Game of Waiting
The waiting game, or purposefully keeping you waiting past your scheduled interview time, is a stressful technique. Stress interviews are those in which employers purposefully place recruits in stressful situations to see how they react. They want to see how you handle stress and think on your feet.
Employers understand that you will most likely be nervous before your interview. As a result, keeping you waiting for 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or more allows them to put you to the test. This is a situation over which you have no control and are ruled by someone more powerful than you.
How will you respond? Will you be calm and collected when it comes to the interview? Will you appear flustered, stressed, or even annoyed? How you handle this situation will reveal information about you to a potential future employer.
This usually takes the form of aggressive questioning, but it can also take the form of how the interviewer asks you the question. Raising their voice while asking difficult questions such as “why were you fired from your previous job?” or “what makes you think you’re qualified for this job?” can be off-putting. If it makes you feel uneasy, it’s working.
This questioning style is designed to make you feel that way. They want to see if you can maintain your calm and think clearly when someone is yelling or asking difficult questions on the job. If you can handle it in the interview, you will most likely be able to handle it in real life.
Another stress interview technique is when the employer is rude or dismissive – they will likely act uninterested in you. Perhaps they will continue to check their phone, make a call, or rummage through papers. They may also interrupt you by saying things like, “you lost me halfway through. Can you start over and get to the point this time?”.
The interviewer is putting your confidence and patience to the test. Don’t backtrack; instead, calmly repeat your response, stick to it, and clarify anything that may be unclear. If they have questions, respond calmly. This demonstrates to them that you can remain calm and respectful in difficult situations while also being confident enough to stand your ground.
An employer may occasionally ask you a completely random question. Things like “how would you redesign a clock if you could?” “I’d like you to jump out the window right now,” for example.
They’re putting you to the test to see how creative you are. Don’t worry if you’re sitting there thinking you’re not creative. They’re not asking for anything out of the ordinary; they’re looking for an answer based on sound reasoning. They’ll be pleased if you can adequately justify your reasoning.
Remember that you can ask questions in this situation. Inquire about clarifications or specifications. Inquire about the benefits, both corporate and personal.
More Than One Point of View
We frequently consider the interview to begin when we sit in the chair across from our (hopefully) future employer. In many businesses, the interview has already begun before you arrive, and it isn’t always over when the questioning ends.
Many employers will inquire about your well-being with the receptionist, driver, or whoever was your first point of contact. When you are flown in or have a driver pick you up, they will ask the driver and anyone else who assists you on the way how you are.
This is more than just not being rude; it is also about how interactive you are. Did you talk to them? Were you on your phone, or were you completely silent? As uncomfortable as it may be for you, we recommend making polite small talk at the very least.
Introduces You to Potential Colleagues
Following the interview, some employers may introduce you to others in the office. “Oh, I’ve got this one in the bag because they’re introducing me to the team!” you may be thinking. Consider again. Following these interactions with future colleagues, the employer will ask them what impression they have of you. Their perspectives are essential because they will be working with you daily. Be yourself and be friendly.
Interviews are tricky, and you should expect them to ask you some difficult, out-of-the-box questions. Be prepared, and remember to take your time, breathe, and plan your response. They’re going to try to make you nervous. You will be mentally prepared and ready to handle whatever they throw at you if you are aware of this ahead of time.