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IB - Job Interview Tactics - Keep Your Cool

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 1

Sometimes interviews run great – you click with the person who is interviewing you, the questions are easy, and you walk out sure you have the job.

And then there are the job interviews from hell.  The interviewer is hostile, almost downright evil in their questioning.  They believe that interviews are meant to "test" on how you deal with stressful experiences and they're going to drag you through every trash can and mud puddle they can.

Of course, the problem is you never know if an interview will be hostile or happy, stressful or easy.  Some tough interviewers may trick you with a smile and cheerful banter at the beginning but halfway through - WHAM! – they smack you with a tough question and you're down for the count!

How do you deal with these sorts of interviews?  How do you keep your cool under all of that fire?

Woman in a Suit - Job Interview?
1. Prepare

It's best to prepare for the most common questions you'll face on an interview.  Questions like:

- Tell me about yourself.
- What is your motivation?
- What are your strengths/weaknesses?
- Why should we hire you?

(There are many other tough questions out there. Your best bet is to purchase a book, like Answering Tough Interview Questions for Dummies, to help you.)

2. ALWAYS Keep Calm

When you see the interview heading in the direction of Interview Hell, stop for a moment to take a deep breath, re-center yourself, and prepare to roll with the punches. 

3. Run Your Answers Through A Filter

No matter how crazy or outlandish the questions become, you MUST keep your attitude professional and upbeat.  Being flippant, rude, angry, or confrontational will not help you garnish any fans.

4.  Watch Out For Those Difficult Questions in Disguise

Sometimes, tough interviewers will ask questions that could be easily answered with a yes or no.  The problem is, they're not looking for a one-word question – they want to know the reasoning behind your answer. 

Such non-leading questions are:

- Do you mind paperwork?
- Do you like working regular hours?
- Do you have any doubts about your abilities?
- Would you have any problems relocating?
- Do you mind travel?

5. Do Not React, Even When Provoked

If you're keeping your cool well, some tough interviewers will turn to negative comments to provoke you.  For example, he may say "I just don't think you're right for this job." even though you know you are.

DO NOT REACT!  No matter how crazy or deranged you may thing his statement is, keep calm.  Smile sweetly and ask him why he thinks that.  If he actually gives you an answer, return with logical, calm reasons why he is wrong, making sure to include real-life example.

6. Be Ready For ANYTHING

This is the most important tip of all.  You never know what crazy questions a tough interviewer will decide to torture you with.  So walk into that office fully prepared for the inqusition.  Read everything you can about job interviews.  Review any information you can find about the company.  Have someone quiz you on with the toughest questions you  can find.  Believe me, all that preparation will pay off at the end!



Dec 6, 2011 12:45am
I went through one of these. It is a long story. Maybe I should write it up as an article. Even though I got the offer I didn't take it and still to this day have a very foul taste in my mouth when I hear the name of that company because of that interview.


You are right, though. It is best to keep your cool with these things.
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