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Different Types of Interviewees

A job interview is meant to showcase an interviewees skills and qualifications for a job.  Although most interviewees are nervous before a job interview, an interviewer should look to assuage their nerves and help them showcase their best side.  There are a plethora of different types of interviewees and it is the job of the interviewer to identify which one would be best for the open position.

An interviewer’s job is to pick the best candidate for the role.  This is done both through the interview process and by identifying their skills on their resume.  Not being able to identify the correct candidate for the role can have disastrous consequences long-term and can severely negatively impact a department.

What Is An Interviewee?

There are a number of different terms used for an applicant for an open position.  The most common one is simply applicant, or someone who has applied to an open position.  A candidate, rather, is meant to describe someone who is in the running for an open position and is used less loosely.

Compared to the above two, an interviewee is someone who is being interviewed.  Whereas the employer, whether through a recruiter or a hiring manager, is the interviewer, both the applicant and a candidate can be described as an interviewee.

The term interviewee should only be used for an applicant who is coming in for an interview.  With no interview to come to, or at the completion of an interview, they would remain either an applicant or a candidate.  This distinction is important as to identify which individual you may be speaking of.

Types of Interviewees

While the word interviewee is a catchall, there are different types of interviewees that can be found within the interview process.  These interviewees show off different attitudes, behaviors, and personalities.  It is best to be able to distinguish the different types to make a better and more informed hiring decision.

The Monied Individual

This candidate has one goal and that is total compensation.  They want to get paid the most and are willing to leave a current role for one that will pay more.  While compensation is an important aspect of any role, the monied individual makes it their only concern.

The Can’t Stop Talking Individual

It’s always good to have an interviewee who is willing to talk and discuss their qualifications.  However, some individuals simply talk too much.  This much talking can hurt their chances as they may accidentally state something they otherwise should not have.

The Scripted Individual

These are interviewees who believe they have mastered the interview process.  They memorize their answers and provide scripted, rehearsed lines.  They appear robotic and don’t offer too much personality.

The Exaggerator

This interviewee compensates their lack of experience with exaggerated claims.  They do so in an attempt to impress the interviewer but come off looking worse and less experienced.

The Looking for Any Job Individual

This interviewee is willing to accept any job, at any compensation, doing nearly anything.  They are desperate for a job and let the interviewer know so.  They will accept any compensation, even that severely below market.  This is a bad look for an interviewee and can hurt their chances of landing the position.

The Vague Responder

The vague responder may be unsure of themselves or their qualification.  It’s honestly difficult to be sure.  But they don’t want you to know, so they offer vague, one-off replies and sentences.  They hope you don’t ask too many in-depth and pointed questions as that may pierce their vagueness and reveal what they really do and don’t know.

The Two-Facer

This interviewee states one thing on their resume and says another during the interview.  The two-facer places exaggerated and false claims on their resume to land the interview but shows their lack of qualifications during it.  They place themselves in a difficult situation where their knowledge gap will be determined, either during the interview or during their first few weeks on the job.

The Joker

This interviewee can’t take anything seriously.  Every comment is followed up with a joke and they don’t know when to be serious and when to appropriately joke around.  Although they are humorous to be around, their presence in the office can be disruptive.

The Nervous, Sweating Individual

This interviewee wants the position badly.  Almost too badly.  They’re extremely nervous for the interview and it shows.  They have a nervous laugh and nervous mannerisms about them.  They try to hide it, but it only makes it worse.  It’s best for the interviewer to help calm their nerves and let them know its ok to be nervous, but to try and compose themselves as the interview moves along.

The Charmer

This interviewee believes they can land the position if they charm the interviewer enough.  The compliment everything the interviewer does and says and is always trying to be liked by them.

The Right Fit

The right fit interviewee is the candidate you’ve been waiting for.  They’re calm, cool, and collected.  They answer your questions directly and have some of their own.  They understand the industry and can speak to its recent changes.  They’re prepared with additional resumes, cover letters, and references if needed.  They are dressed professionally and compliment sparingly.  This is the perfect candidate.

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