Your interview day has finally arrived. You are all dressed up to make that lasting first impression. You finally meet Mrs. B, as she shakes your hand firmly and invites you to get comfortable. Your interview has started. This is the moment you’ve waited for.
The first few moments appear mundane enough. The questions to this point, in fact, seem easy. Your confidence is growing. That little voice in your head keeps telling you that are doing fine – just keep on going. Suddenly, the questions get tougher. Mrs B leans back and asks about why you want to leave your current job – the one you’ve been in for only 18 months. As you begin to explain that you wish to leave for personal reasons, she begins to probe more deeply. Her smile is gone and the body language is different. All right, you think be honest. So you tell Mrs B you want to leave because you think your boss tarnished by being associated with this individual. This has led to a number of public disagreements with your boss, and you’re tired of dealing with the situation any longer. Mrs B looks at you and replies: If you ask me that is not a valid reason for wanting to leave, appears to me that you should be more assertive about the situation. Are you sure you’re confident enough and have what it takes to make it in this company? How dare she talk to you that way! Who does she think she is? So you respond with an angry tone in your voice. And guess what, you’ve just fallen victim to one of the tricks of the interviewing business – the stress interview.
Stress interviews are becoming more common place in today’s business world. Every job produces stress, and at some point in time every worker has a horrendous day. So these types of interviews become predictors of how you may react at work under less than favorable conditions. Interviewers want to observe how you’ll react when you are put under pressure. These who demonstrate the resolve and strength to handle the stress indicate a level of professionalism and confidence. It’s those characteristics that are being assessed. Individuals who react to the pressure interview in a more positive manner indicate that they should be able to handle the day to day irritations that exist at work.
On the other hand they are staged events. Interviewers deliberately lead applicants into a false sense of security – the comfortable interaction. Then suddenly and drastically they change. They go on the attack. And it’s usually a personal affront that picks on weaknesses they’ve uncovered about the applicant. It’s possibly humiliating; at the last moment.
How can you close the deal?
Interviewers who treat the recruiting and hiring of employees as if the applicants must be sold on the job and exposed only to an organization’s positive characteristics are likely a workforce that is dissatisfied and prone to high turnover.
Every job applicant acquires, during the hiring process, a set of expectations about the company and about the job for which he or she is interviewing. When the information an applicant receives is excessively inflated, a number of things happen that have potentially negative effects on the company. First, mismatched applicants are less likely to withdraw from the search process. Second, because inflated information builds unrealistic expectations, new employees are likely to become quickly dissatisfied and to resign prematurely. Third, new hires are prone to become disillusioned and less committed to the organization when they face the unexpected harsh realities of the job. In many cases, these individuals feel that they were duped or misled during the hiring process and may become problem employees.