5 Types of People Who Might be Interviewing You, and How to Prepare

If the big interview day is coming up, you are likely preparing to meet the person who may be deciding if you will be a good fit for the company. While this can be a nerve-wracking time, it can also be an opportunity to get inside the minds of the interviewers to gain the best possible advantage. It’s easy to do this when you understand the 5 types of people who might be interviewing you. Let’s review who these people are and how you can prepare.

The Recruiter

Most often, when interviewing for a new job, you will generally meet with a recruiter first. This is either someone who works in an entry level screening position within a large human resources department or someone who has been contracted with to seek out quality job candidates. Recruiters can be intimidating, especially if they are “jaded” by meeting so many people. However, they can also work in your favor if you understand the goals of an interview at this stage in the game.

Even in this initial interview, you can be fairly certain that you’ve been called in for an interview because you meet the minimum requirements of the open assignment. After combing through hundreds of resumes on job boards all day, a recruiter will be pleased to find a handful of people who have the right work skills, employment backgrounds and education level for the job. Win this person over by pointing out how you are the best match for the assignment, and your recruiter will be your biggest cheerleader. This is because recruiter success (and their paycheck) is measured by the number of placements they make.

The Replacement

When you are interviewing for a job with a company that is going through “transitions”, it’s very likely that you will be meeting with the person who you may be replacing or someone who is moving on to bigger things. Tread carefully and present your best side when meeting with someone like this. You will be judged for not only your credentials, but also for how well you may fit in with the rest of the team.

A good way to handle an interviewer with a possible replacement role is to develop report as soon as possible in the conversation. Try to match your body language and your verbal responses with those of the interviewer. Make plenty of direct eye contact and keep the conversation positive with the interviewer. Finding a common ground with this person will help convince him or her that you will be a good addition to the existing network of professionals.

The Gatekeeper

This can be a tough person to impress, because the “gatekeeper” is usually someone who doesn’t appreciate change or new people in general. However, companies oftentimes use gatekeepers to further screen out job candidates during the second or third wave of interviews, or in group interviews as a type of “control” measure.

To succeed in an interview with those who are acting as gatekeepers, use plenty of positive verbal and non-verbal communication skills. Listen very carefully to what is being asked throughout the interview and answer succinctly and professionally, while noticing queues from the interviewer. Make sure to convey how your skills will benefit the company for the best results.

The Department Head

Regardless of what you may think, interviewing with the head of a department is not always as stress-inducing as you may expect. However, don’t let this fool you. The department head is going to try everything possible to get to the bottom of who you are and how your skills can help the company to achieve important goals by hiring you. This is when all the sales skills you have ever learned must be employed.

You can ace this type of interview situation by doing your research about the company before the meeting day. Spend a nice chunk of time on the corporate website, look for industry articles and information about the types of clients the company has. Use this information to answer and ask questions during the interview to really impress the department head.

The Top Chief

Think meeting the big boss is a scary thing? Think again. If you have reached this point in the interview process, even if it’s a casual greeting in the hallway on the way in, you have already met much of the criteria the company is looking for. If you didn’t have what it takes, there’s no way the recruiter or secretary would even let you meet the top chief in the first place. But don’t get too cocky. You still have work to do to impress your future boss.

In order to succeed in an interview with the head of the company, you must be able to demonstrate several things. These include a go-getter attitude, a record of progression in your career history, and an ability to adapt to the needs of the new company. Keep these aspects in mind as you talk with the owner of the company and you will find a common ground, which will help you land a great new job.

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