Re: Interview from Hell

Subject: Re: Interview from Hell
From: Rowena Hart <rhart -at- XCERT -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 2 Jun 1999 15:51:45 -0700

Lorrie Staples brought up a really great point regarding
emotional responses to interviews:

>it's a fit, they'll buy. I refuse to get my hopes up no matter how peachy
>they present the job during the interview.
>When I leave the interview, I look at it very objectively instead of

Most of the people sharing "interview from hell" experiences
in this thread have been burned precisely because they had
an emotional response to the situation. A common theme
was pride ("I had all of the qualifications and was perfect for
the job, but they..."). My apologies if I'm stating the obvious,
but as soon as you start thinking you are perfectly suited to
do a job, you are tying your sense of self-worth to the results
of the interview. If you are offered the job your sense of
superiority is validated, but if you aren't offered the job you
feel abused and start looking for someone to blame (usually
the interviewers).

Many respondents also felt that they gave a perfect interview
performance, had all the answers, and so forth. When I read
this, it made my eyebrows go up. There is a huge difference
between putting on a good show and being sincere. Trying
too hard, having all the answers, and being "the professional's
professional" can be a huge negative for interviewers, because
it is so closely tied to negative emotions like desperation,
pridefulness, arrogance, and the destructive kind of

Interviewers are just as guilty of having emotional responses
to interviews as the job applicants themselves. An interviewer
who believes in their innate superiority over an applicant will
no doubt convey some of that arrogance and pride to the
applicant during the interview by asking insulting questions,
putting the applicant through rigorous assessments only to
reject them later on, or simply by being disinterested and
unresponsive during and after the interview.

It is important to acknowledge the emotional content
of interviews (both as an interviewer or an interviewee).
I've focussed one the "bad emotions" here, but there are
just an many good emotions that can be expressed in an
interview. Be prepared for both good and bad emotions,
because you can't turn them off (before, during, or after the


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