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Three Tips for Handling an Aggressive Job Interviewer

You found a listing for a great job, sent in your application, and got a call for an interview. Congratulations! As you prepare for the interview, it may be helpful to run through possible scenarios, roleplay questions with a friend, and brush up on putting your best foot forward. Some candidates face aggressive interviewers, and that can be challenging. We can help.

Don’t Respond with Aggression

When someone is attacking you, you may want to respond in kind. Whatever transpires in the job interview, never meet hostility with hostility—you can only lose in that exchange. So, what’s the proper response?

The best thing is to do the exact opposite: stay cool, calm, and collected. Start by taking a quick breather to compose yourself. A few deep breaths can work wonders. If possible, you might even request to use the restroom; while there, take a minute to splash cool water on your face. Use the time walking to and from the bathroom to take a few more nice, deep breaths. This will deliver oxygen to your brain and help you remain calm.

Remember That It’s Not Personal

If you have no prior history with this person, there’s no reason for the interviewer to be aggressive, so it may not be aggression at all. You might be the fifth candidate they have seen in quick succession, blood sugar is low as they have missed lunch, and they are struggling to muster the energy. Keeping this in mind may change your entire perspective. Just be yourself, and do your best.

Interviews can be high-pressure situations, but you may not be the only one feeling the pressure. Although it looks like aggression, it could be stress from a deadline or pressure from someone over the interviewer. Or maybe your interviewer is on the tail end of a minor emergency or stressful event. Whatever it is, it’s not personal; if you keep this in mind, it may help you feel less pressured by it.

Decide Whether This Is the Right Place for You

Even though an interviewer’s aggression isn’t personal toward you, it may still cross a line. If an interviewer is hostile to the point of creating fear or possible physical harm, you can ask to speak with someone else. If no one else is available, vacate the premises immediately. Listen to your gut on this; if you don’t feel safe, don’t remain in the situation.

Finally, pay close attention to everything else. What are the other people like? Do people seem unhappy or even frightened? Or do the employees seem to enjoy their working environment? Every sign you could ever ask for a healthy or unhealthy culture will be there in full view at a job interview. Don’t ignore the signs.

Are You Seeking Your Next Assignment?

At 365 Healthcare Staffing Services, we specialize in the recruitment and placement of healthcare professionals in per diem, travel, and permanent assignments in healthcare facilities across the country. Are you looking for your next assignment? Give us a call at 310.436.3650; we’d love to work with you!