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How Do I Respond to a Negative Interviewer?

ESS Candidate Newsletter – February, 2017

Worthington, OH February 01, 2017

In this month’s, ask the recruiter, we discuss what to do when you interview with someone who seems to be upset, holding a grudge or just sounds frustrated.

Introduction – Aaron Wandtke
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Ask the Recruiter
How do I respond to a negative interviewer?
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One of the primary reasons for getting into the recruiting business is to help people land the right job for them.  Fortunately, our company has been able to help many people land the right job.  There are a lot more people we would like to help.  In order to do that we need more roles to recruit for.  We often learn of new companies and roles from speaking with people like you.  The second thing we need in order to help is the details on what you are looking for.  Is there a dream job, target company, target location, or something else that would cause you to jump at the opportunity?  If there is, we want to know. Often times, this personal information makes you more memorable to us.

2017 is off to a blazing start.  We just completed an incredible January.  Companies continue to give us more and more opportunities to recruit on.  If there is something we can do to help you fill a critical opening in your department or at your company, let me know.  If there is a position, company or location you would like me to keep an eye open for, let me know as well.

If you would like to subscribe to our newsletter geared specially for hiring managers, please fill out the subscription form at the bottom of this newsletter.

Ask the Recruiter – How do I respond to a negative interviewer?

The interviewer rarely reciprocates the energy an interviewee brings.  What happens in situations where you interview with someone who seems to be upset, holding a grudge or is just sounds frustrated?

  1. Find common ground – It is safe to assume the person interviewing you is on the same page in terms of there being a need to fill the role. In some cases, that may not be the case.  In these situations, try to find some common ground such as why the role is critical, what help the interviewer needs in their department or where this role can make a difference.
  2. Look at the big picture – We find candidates who judge an entire company based on one interview, either good or bad. We know there are many factors that make a position and company the right match.  To make a judgement after one 30 minute interview is short sighted and often an emotional decision.  Digest all of the information as all of the people you meet before creating a judgement.
  3. You do not know – When you walk into someone’s office for an interview, you never know what is going on. Are they leaving for another role, did something just happen from home or in the office, did they just receive some bad news?  Remember not everyone is on every day and sometimes people are just having a bad day.

Interviewing with a negative person is never fun.  Using that time to get insight, you may not otherwise have had to be a good use of your time.  Use each interview as a tool to gather information so you can make the most informed decision possible.  If possible, try to remove the emotions and focus on the facts you heard.

I can be reached directly at 614-885-8490 or by e-mail at

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