Strange Interview Encounters Of The Third Kind

IF YOU THINK REGULAR INTERVIEWS ARE CHALLENGING, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet until you’ve experienced other kinds of interviews: situational, stress, and behavioral interviews.

Why have hiring managers strayed from just conventional interviewing?

When companies cut costs and jobs, no manager can afford to hire the wrong person. That’s why many hiring managers have switched to situational, behavioral, and stress job interviews. The interviewer is testing who you are by prodding for what you know and how well you handle different situations.

Situational interviews

During situational interviews, you’re asked to answer questions about a specific hypothetical situation you could encounter on the job. Interviewers want to learn about your analytical and problem-solving skills along with how well you handle problems spontaneously.

Even when you go into an interview with scripted material, these other kinds of interviews can trip you up. Let’s say you’re interviewing for a customer service job. A hiring manager might ask how you would handle an irate customer on the phone who is angry about funds that were lost when they weren’t transferred on time.

In that instance, not being honest about the mistake or showing anger or frustration means you’re out—no matter how glowing our resume is.

Behavioral interviews

This type of interview is almost the same as situational, and the stress interview to be covered in a moment. While situational meetings discussed above focuses on supposed situations, behavioral interviews are about past experiences.

For example, you could be given a scenario where a customer is very annoyed about a specific situation and asked how you’d handle the disgruntled customer.

 Stress interviews

If you’re subjected to a stress interview, it probably means you’re being interviewed for a stressful job. A hiring manager wants to see how well you handle pressure. This could be a one-on-one or group interview where hiring managers will be aggressive in their questioning. Example: “Was the stress too much to handle on your last job?” “Why were you fired from your last job?”

How to prepare for all three types of interviews

Think about and rehearse brief stories touching on how you’ve solved problems and worked successfully while under pressure in past jobs. Your resume contains all the ammunition you need in its bullet points that describe what you did in various circumstances and results you achieved.

When you prepare this way, you’re able to show interviews how you’ve handled similar circumstances to the hypothetical situation they set up for you.

 How to handle the creeps you could encounter

Be careful for shady interviewers. Many shameless ratfinks have no job to offer but will subject you to a situational interview designed to solve one of their problems.

In which case you can respond, “That’s easy. I’ve solved similar problems before and if you want me to solve the specific problem you’ve presented, you’ll have to hire me.”

You might also enjoy reading, “How to Turn Interviews Into Job Offers,” one of the chapters in my book “Your One-Minute Job Finding Coach.

In this chapter alone you’ll get over 60 awsome interviewing tips that run the gamut from how to impress interviewers by the questions you ask, the magic formula for interivewing, and how to make a good first impression; to a tested method for preparing for your next interview, how to stand apart from other job-hunters, an icebreaker youcan use at interviews and networking meetings, how to explain why you left your last job, and much, much more.

CLICK HERE for more information and to order.

Copyright ©2016 by Ransom (Randy) Place


About the Author

RANDY PLACE IS A JOB-FINDING and executive coach, writer on career topics, broadcaster, and host of For twenty-three years, he helped thousands of employees who had been let go from JPMorgan Chase find jobs. And he coached executives at CBS Television, Pitney Bowes, and major outplacement firms in New York on job-finding techniques, communications skills, and selling strategies. An accomplished seminar leader and speaker, Randy has designed and presented workshops on interviewing, telephoning techniques, job-search writing, and sales training nationwide. Randy's groundbreaking nationally syndicated radio series, Your Career Service, has been heard on over two hundred radio stations across the United States. And his articles on career topics have appeared in the Wall Street Journal's National Business Employment Weekly. A former broadcast journalist in New York, he has also been a commercial spokesperson for an array of national and regional advertisers. In addition, Randy was a sales executive at NBC Radio and the New York City sales manager for syndication at Wolper Productions. He holds a Bachelor's in Sociology and Broadcasting from Syracuse University, and a Master's in Journalism from New York University.