How Do Your Candidates See You?

Have you ever wondered how you come across to the candidates you interview? In this article we look at the 9 interviewer types.

Job candidate at interview

1. The Stickler. The Stickler is someone who likes to plan the interview down to the last detail. He or she believes there is a right way to interview. Once they work it out, they’ll stick to that format every time. Interviews with Sticklers tend to be highly structured, formal, polite, and business-like. They’ll rarely run over their allotted time. Sticklers believe this approach will enable them to make accurate selections.

2. The Helper. The Helper is a people-person. The tone of their interviews is invariably friendly, warm and sociable. They will offer coffee and biscuits, hang up people’s coats for them, work out their best route home, and accompany them all the way from the interview room back out of the building. Because of this, interviews feel more like a nice chat than serious business.

3. The Performer. The Performer sees an interview as a major promotional opportunity. They will talk up the job, the organization, and themselves. They come over as attractive, charming, and seductive. They want you to like them. Performers like their candidates to be as attractive as they believe they are. They must look in fashion and be able to quote all the latest ideas and buzz-words about the job.

4. The Prober. The Prober sees the interview as a chance to get to know a person at a deep meaningful level. Because of this, they may ignore a structured approach and take longer than they need to. The have a knack of spotting stars and uncovering the real qualities that a person has. They may get bored with dull candidates and are likely to be attracted to individualists who, like themselves, have a touch of something special.

5. The Observer. The Observer sees the interview as essentially a one-way process in which they can gather information on the candidate while giving little away about themselves. Nothing escapes their attention. They can pick up on a little detail and also see the big picture. To encourage people to talk, the Observer comes over as interested, curious and charming.

6. The Questioner. The Questioner approaches every interview in two minds: will this person be a safe bet or not? The way they find out is with lots of questions, checks, tests, and references. Only when they feel safe with a candidate will they support them. Then they will become the greatest advocate for giving them the job.

7. The Enthusiast. The Enthusiast is someone who likes to get switched on by a candidate, especially if they share their own enthusiasms. They are often impatient people who may be so busy that they they turn up half-way through the interview or leave before the end. Enthusiasts may do more talking than the candidates as they love nothing better than an audience.

8. The Boss. The Boss likes to let candidates know that they’re in charge. They think that the best way to find out about others is to put them on the spot, test them, or confront them. They are the most likely interviewers to use stress tactics. Boss interviewers warm to candidates who are strong and brash like them, or who are willing to be loyal followers in their team.

9. The Avoider. The Avoider likes to melt into the background at interviews. In a panel, they will defer to others. Alone, they will defer to the candidate. Their philosophy is not to control the process but to simply sit back and let things happen. Curiously, this hands-off approach often allows the best candidate to come through naturally.

So there you go. Next time you interview, instead of focusing all your attention on your candidates, have a peek at your own style. You may learn a lot more about you than you do about them.

About the Author

Eric Garner is the founder of ManageTrainLearn a useful training resource for managers. Article © Eric Garner,

Leave a Comment