Interview curveball

Q: I went for an interview last week expecting that there would be two or three on the panel. It turns out there was only one person, the boss. And, boy, was there ever a man who could do a good poker-face? He barely said 100 words in the whole interview and never gave me any feedback, good, bad or indifferent. Shouldn’t employers make more of an effort? (AC, email).

A: AC, an unkinder soul than me might say you’re trying to play in the game and referee it too, writes Pearse O’Donnell, Career Coach, Sli Nua Careers, Bandon.

PEARSE O’DONNELL, Career Coach, T: +353 87 251 4832

Panels come in all shapes and sizes.

Candidates, be ready for all eventualities. You can’t allow yourself to be thrown by the panel being smaller than anticipated; or the room being bigger; or the receptionist being rude; or the wait in the foyer being 35 minutes long.

You’ve got to play it as you find it. And, remember, it’s the same for everyone. If he was taciturn for you, he was almost certainly taciturn for everyone else. Recently, I had a client who came out of the second interview with her head spinning. “It was bizarre – they just kept throwing crazy situations at me. I haven’t a clue how I did, but I’d say I’m bunched,” she told me.

But others probably came out feeling the exact same way. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. A week later she got the job. Play it as you find it and trust that your rivals for the post are encountering the same unexpected scenarios.