No matter how well you research your prospective employer, or how thoroughly you rehearse your answers, when preparing for a job interview, it is unlikely you’ll be able to find out too much about the finer intricacies of your interviewer’s technique before hand.
Fortunately, most recruiters will go out of their way to create a relaxed atmosphere and put you at your ease, after all, they understand better than most just how nerve wracking the experience can be. On the whole you’ll find interviewers are most interested about finding out what, in your own opinion, makes you the right person for the role.
However, once in a while, you may find an interviewer taking a harder, more aggressive line.
Perversely, the passive act of remaining silent can actually be used by interviewers as a highly aggressive and unsettling technique. By declining to talk once you have finished speaking, an interviewer can pressure you into to continuing to expand on your answer beyond what you had originally planned.
This is actually a tactic used in police interrogations and by psychiatrists administering the ‘talking cure’. There are a number of reasons an interviewer might choose to do this. They might want to see how you handle a socially awkward moment, or to test your assertiveness. Whatever the reason, the best thing to do is to avoid rambling on, simply to avoid a silence. Generally, in all stages of a job search, from CVs to application forms, concision is something to be strived for.
Not Offering an Opening
On the other hand, it has been known for a candidate to find that their opposite number is overly talkative, so much so that they can’t actually get a word in edgeways. This is actually a tell-tale trait of an interviewer lacking in experience, who feels awkward leaving all the talking to someone else. However, it is, again, also an aggressive ploy some interviewers use to gauge the candidates assertiveness, especially if this is an important attribute for the job.
In any eventuality, you need to find a way of breaking in on the conversation. If you sit back without out saying much, even if it’s their fault, it’s unlikely you’ll have given them enough reason to hire you.
Unfortunately, it is not unheard of for an interviewer to go over the line and put forward a question that they really shouldn’t. As it is safe to assume that all their questions are asked in order to inform their decision making process, you shouldn’t be asked questions about personal details, such as you faith, age (though this can normally be inferred from your CV) or sexual orientation.
If want to complain, it is normally best to do so in a formal manner after the interview is over. Confronting your interviewer won’t normally help your chances of landing the job, but remember that you should be assessing the company just as much as they are assessing you. If you are seriously unimpressed, you should withdraw your application. After all, you hardly want to work with people you find offensive.