Please take a look at part two of the Interview Types series. I, myself was involved in a Dinner/Stress Interview several years ago when I first moved to Oklahoma. My initial impression of the interview was that the hiring manager was rude and angry when he in fact was testing my reactions and professionalism in a stressful and heated conversation. Unlike in most interview situations, I was able to receive feedback with regard to the interview. The hiring manager was very impressed, and I learned a valuable lesson which was not to take everything so seriously and to let situations that I couldn't control to fall by the wayside. No need to stress and rehash something from the past that I certainly couldn't control.
- The same rules apply at a meal as those in an office. The setting may be more casual, but
remember it is a business meal and you are being watched carefully.
- Use the interview to develop common ground with your interviewer. Follow his/her lead in both selection of food and etiquette.
- Eat less. Order an entree that is light and easy to eat. Baby back ribs are not an appropriate choice.
- Do not drink alcohol at any point in the interview process.
- Do you best to focus all your attention on the person you are meeting with.
- This form of interview was more common in sales positions and is rare today. However, you should be aware of the signals. The stress interview is usually a deliberate attempt to see how you handle yourself under pressure.
- The interviewer may be sarcastic or argumentative, or may keep you waiting. Don’t take it
personally. Calmly answer each question. Ask for clarification if you need it, and never rush into an answer.
- The interviewer may also lapse into silence at some point during the questioning. This may be an attempt to unnerve you. Sit silently until the interviewer resumes the questions. If a minute goes by, ask if he/she needs clarification of your last comments.
- Stress interviews can often include two interviewers, a good cop and a bad cop.
- Be prepared and confident with your interviews even under the most stressful of circumstances. Don't fall into the trap of being the victim or argumentative.