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When a job interview goes very wrong and why working with an agency should make the process less stressful

When a job interview goes very wrong and why working with an agency should make the process less stressful

over 5 years ago by Michael Carpenter

Job Interview Tips

A recent Tweet that went viral from a  job seeker in the U.K. is reviving the debate around the use of so-called "stress interviews" that seek to destabilize candidates by making them feel uncomfortable. Managers use the technique, such as asking impossible or bizarre questions, to see if the job seeker can handle pressure and unknown situations. A report in the BBC says that experts are divided as to their effectiveness; some say it can sometimes backfire with the employer losing an otherwise strong candidate others point to need to replicate some of the pressure in the workplace at interview stage.

Most of us have a story about a horrific interview in our past. We have heard the terms “brutal” along with “the CEO tore both me and my CV to shreds (and called me an underachiever)." to describe interviews our candidates had previously been on (not of course arranged by Palmer McCarthy)

Stress interviews are designed to see how someone performs under pressure. Tech giants like Google have used a version of this strategy, asking candidates seemingly bizarre questions like ""How many haircuts do you think happen in the UK every year?" presumably in order to see how they solve problems. But experts say structured, job-specific interviews are more effective at predicting performance. In other words, ask every candidate for a position the same series of questions about how they handled, or would handle, different work scenarios.

One of the benefits of working with an agency such as Palmer McCarthy is that we know the client and their interview process. As part of our interview preparation we will not only provide industry and role specific guidance on the questions you should ask but will be able to give you advance warning of criteria-based questions, whether it will be a panel interview (as opposed to a one to one), who will be attending the interview and their particular style etc. Our website contains many tips on successful interviews (please follow the link) however, we have found client and contact knowledge is invaluable - and only something you get from a niche player like Palmer McCarthy.

We are keen to hear about any experience you may have had of interviews that seemed to go terribly wrong or strange interview questions:  How did you handle it? Feel free to respond with your comments and we will publish next week anonymously of course).