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5 Ways to Survive the World’s Worst Job Interview

 

Stress interviews are a job-seeker’s nightmare—unless you’re prepared.

Everything is going smoothly in your job interview. But then you’re asked why a tennis ball has fuzz.

In another interview, your questioner treats you rudely before asking, “How do you think this interview is going?”

Should you run for the hills? Not necessarily, says Texas Exes Career Services Director Jennifer Duncan. You’re likely experiencing a torturous technique called the stress interview. This method involves making an interviewee uncomfortable to see how he or she can perform under pressure. It’s especially prevalent in the tech industry, she says.

“Creative companies like Google and Facebook are famous for using stress questions,” she explains. “They want to see if potential hires are flexible and confident.”

The bad news: stress interviews are increasingly common. The good news: the five tips at right should help you keep cool.

 Don’t sweat the details. Your interviewer cares less about how you answer a stress question than about whether you can stay confident. So concentrate on your attitude, not on the specifics.

Listen. Take time to listen to the question and fully understand it before you start talking. A question like “Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world?” is easier if you don’t rush. (Answer: Mt. Everest.)

Do your research. If you can, set up an informational interview with a contact inside the company to learn about the interview process and the company in general.

Be honest. Some stress questions test your honesty, such as “What interests you least about this job?” You can answer tactfully without lying: “I’m sure this job will have some menial tasks I won’t enjoy, like paperwork. But that’s part of any job.”

Own it. Even if your answer is a complete disaster, stay confident and secure in your choice. Your composure will make an impression.

Photo courtesy istockphoto.

 

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