Slaying Your Interview Dragons

Nerves can be a hassle, especially during an interview. And hey, that’s normal. I guess that’s because a lot of people see interviewers as some kind of monsters. They’re not. They’re human beings like you who have their own personalities and ways of doing things. But alright. For imagination’s sake, let’s try looking at them as different types of dragons. Which means you need to learn how to deal with them depending on how they’re built. 

Here are some quick tips on how to slay your interviewers. No, wait, I meant interview. 

Let’s name our first interviewer, the Drogon. This dragon at first glance is already intimidating. And when he starts talking? He could come off pretty aggressive and perhaps a bit too blunt. He doesn’t want his time wasted. So what do you do? Do not cower in fear. Try your best to avoid disagreements unless he tells you you’re not fit for the job or the company. Cite specific instances and experiences to prove that you are. Be firm and show him respect rather than panic.

Our next interviewer is the Mushu. He’s probably already forgotten that this is YOUR interview. He’ll tell you tons of bits and will spew joke after joke. And when you do say something about yourself, he will flatter you and might give you unrealistic expectations from unrealistic commitments. Best not to cut him off and seem rude. Give him the attention he wants and laugh at his jokes. However, carefully find and grab the opportunity to bring the conversation back to you. Show him that facts and a real conversation are more important to you than tall tales. 

The Maleficent who is very protective of the company, knows everything and she can be pretty smug about it. She will patronize you and has a number of sarcastic comments under her wings. Engage, but do not challenge. Question politely if need be, and listen. Don’t forget to acknowledge, but always, always stick to your facts and show her what you can do for her and the company. Be assertive but keep the calm and positive vibes. This interviewer is really just looking out for her team.

Lastly, I have no name for this dragon, because it’s a robot. This is the type of interviewer who plays by the book, interrogates you using an interview outline that has existed for centuries, and cannot show you anything but a blank facial expression. Do not expect feedback to play off, on or with, with the robot. The way to his heart, or lack thereof, is the quality of answers you provide for his pre existing script. Also, it’s a great idea to ask quality questions about the job and the company after your turn of speaking. 

Interviews don’t have to be a battle. Your interviewers are there to get to know you and make sure you and the team can both grow and expand your careers together. These dragons just happen to have their different backgrounds and experiences that help them be as objective as they can be. However, in the off chance you meet a hiring manager who’s a tad too aggressive, or worse, inappropriate, best to run far, far away. 

For more interview tips, check out more fun articles from our blog!

About the Author
Simon Lader

Simon Lader

I am an almost twenty year veteran of the IT industry. I started recruiting for IT sales and presales people in 1997 and I’ve been doing it ever since. Originally living in Manchester, UK, I now live in Las Vegas and specialize in helping startup and high-growth software vendors find the best sales and presales people in North America, Asia Pacific and EMEA. My three kids and long suffering wife keep me sane (or as close to it as possible) - which, as a Manchester United supporter, isn’t always easy! I probably watch too much Netflix and drink too much Single Malt Whisky, but what’s life without a little misbehavior now and then. Click here to schedule a free 15 minute consultation phone call with me; or click here to send me a message.

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