How to pass a stress interview and not break: what you need to know about “extreme” hiring

Imagine a “pumped up” game of “cat and mouse”, where the cat intends to eat a mouse, and the mouse should remain calm, pretend that they are best friends with the “mustachioed”, and outwit the predator. At the end of this game, both the cat and the mouse must win. Strange, isn't it?

A stress interview is a game in which you can be involved in an interview without your consent. Knowing the rules of the game and following them, you will avoid a nervous breakdown and go to a new level.

// Through the eyes of a predator

The mission of a recruiting specialist is to knock the earth out from under your legs, bring you to a white heat, and make you nervous. The task of the applicant is to keep the poker face, despite all the trials, not to respond to aggression, not to bite the eychar.

Conducting a stressful interview is stressful for HR, as far from all recruitment specialists can do it. Eychar is obliged to develop an interview plan in advance, provide for all possible behaviors of the applicant and, most importantly, interpret them correctly.

It happens that a specialist hurries to impress the applicant with the skill of conducting stress interviews and asks indecent and obsessive questions. The applicant quickly “cuts through” the recruiter’s intentions, and here it’s important not to split. Otherwise, you will touch a specialist, and he will not give you a green light.

Daria, an applicant for the position of office manager at MIEL “

In the beginning, everything was as usual: I came and they gave me to fill out a questionnaire, and then they asked me to wait a bit and after a few minutes I was invited to the office. A pretty nice girl asked standard questions: “Tell us in more detail why our company?”, “Tell us about the university” ... After she rather persistently asked about her place of residence, it seemed to me to somehow try to convince me that it is very difficult to go to Moscow work from the suburbs. The dialogue was like this:

- How can you get up so early and not get tired?
- I studied at a Moscow school and got used to get up early and ride, it’s normal for me ...
- Maybe you should look for something closer to home?
- It is extremely difficult in my city to find a well-paid job with a suitable schedule and growth prospects ... (I admit, I'm used to the wary attitude of employers to my place of residence).

Then something happened that I did not expect, Eichar criticized the availability of glasses, her voice was neglected:
- Could you take off the glasses?
- If necessary, I can ...
- Daria, why are you wearing them then, since you can take them off, is this a tribute to fashion?
- No, this is a necessity, I have complex astigmatism ...
- Are there really such serious vision problems?
- Well, what are you! Of course, I see without glasses, but doctors advise wearing them constantly so that vision does not fall!
“Why don't you make lenses in the 21st century ?!”

Honestly, I was seriously confused and suspected that the conversation was going in the wrong direction, but answered all questions calmly and consistently. The girl, having listened to me, congratulated and said that she liked me and invited the immediate supervisor so that I could clarify all the nuances that interest me. ”

// Where the legs grow from

As a method, stress interviews formed only in the middle of the last century. And, as usual, in the bowels of the military departments - to solve the problem of recruiting and testing personnel. The unexpected, tough or frankly rude behavior of the interviewer made it possible not only to quickly ascertain the stress resistance of the candidate, but also to test his ability to show flexibility and ability to behave in unusual situations.

Gradually, the scope of the stress interview expanded to the recruitment of firefighters, police and military, and soon everyone wanted to adopt the best practices for recruiting office workers. Innovators were found in Europe and the USA. The occasion itself dictated the need to change something. So, at the end of the twentieth century, leading foreign countries actively transferred entire industries to the countries of Southeast Asia, where the main jobs were formed. In cities, work has become objectively less, and the number of people willing has steadily increased. Therefore, the idea of ​​using the stress interview method to limit job seekers in the civilian sphere seemed justified and practically innovative. A few decades later, the stress interview method came into domestic practice as well.

There is a legend about the visit of the famous Soviet composer Aram Khachaturian to Salvador Dali. Khachaturian waited a long time for an appointment in a spacious hall under his own “Saber Dance”, touching the artist’s hospitality. Time passed, but the owner was in no hurry. Suddenly the door opened and Salvador Dali swiftly flashed past the Soviet delegation. According to different versions: dressed, without clothes, without clothes on horseback. Then a magnificent majordom came out and said that "the audience is over." So the famous composer fell victim to the stress-hoax of a brilliant artist.

// Who gets into the mousetrap
Stressful interviews are most often carried out with candidates for positions related to constant communication with a variety of people, and such work promises to be nervous and restless. The “risk group” includes managers and their assistants, sales and customer service managers, advertising, insurance agents, journalists, office managers, and claim review specialists. In these positions, the ability to control oneself and to reason sensibly in critical situations is as valuable as professional skills and work experience.

If you have managed to work as a personal assistant to an eccentric boss, then stress will become your shadow throughout your cooperation with him, and awkward questions will become the norm, starting from the first interview.

Marina, an applicant for the position of personal secretary of a famous political and public figure, one of the first multimillionaires in Russia:

“The decision to respond to the invitation to the interview was lightning fast! High salaries and an office with a view of the Kremlin bribed. It looked as it should be for the assistant secretary: a high tail, bright pink lips, pointed eyes, high heels ... A young man meets me, examines me from head to toe and says: “You shouldn’t be so bright in vain ...” I did not attach any significance to his remark . The interview began, the immediate boss came and asked me to get up and spin. I felt like at a horse show. And then came the questions: “Who are the parents?”, “Orthodox?”, “Why is the cream Catholic?” After which several recommendations were given regarding my appearance ... “No pants, perfumes, lipsticks, only skirts below the knee, black shoes, and you can go to work! ”- concluded the“ boss ”. Needless to say, the strange interview then seemed like a mere trifle!

// Win before the game starts

You need to be prepared for a stress interview before the start of the interview. A specialist floor recruiting staff may ask you to wait a bit in the lobby or at the reception, arguing for a delay in urgent unforeseen cases. He himself will slowly stroll with a cup of coffee, or gossip with a colleague in front of your nose. The test of time can last from several minutes to an hour or more. In no case do not show others your impatience - the eychar must see that it is difficult to get you crazy. Also try not to remind him of your person - this will betray your impatience. Take, for example, reading a book or watching your favorite series (always with headphones!) - let the specialist see that you value your time and know how to use it.

// In the paws of a cat

After you have nevertheless been invited to the interview room, be prepared to see there not the most favorable environment for negotiations. Yes, this is possible in the company of your dreams! Stress interviews can take place in the back room, in a narrow corridor or in the office kitchen. It may be dark and unpleasant to smell in the meeting room, and the HR manager will shine a flashlight on you, and just try to grimace! In the end, be prepared that you will not be offered the notorious chair.

Take it calmly. Do not say that you are uncomfortable, but politely ask to change the conditions - open the window, turn on the main lighting, bring a chair.

Get ready for non-standard questions from the doorway and to the fact that, in addition to a specialist in recruiting or your immediate supervisor, you can meet all his colleagues who know the rules of the game and will try to confuse and knock you on the road to a successful interview.

Nina, jobseeker for an economist position at Fazer:

“As soon as I went into the office for an interview, the head of the department immediately asked the value of the factorial of zero. I immediately got lost, and then everything went awry. I admit, I was not preparing for this. Mumbled uncertainly: "Unit." After which the head continued calmly to continue to ask essentially. Before I could come to my senses, all the heads of departments, even an accountant, pulled themselves into the office! As a student of yesterday, I did not expect such attention to my person. I had a round table and everyone managed to ask me a question. Then they gave me a case, which had to be solved under their close attention. It was very difficult for me to concentrate, and all the time I thought that it was unprofessional to put pressure on the applicant. Only later did I learn about the practice of stress interviews. Consider that I did not pass the stress test. "

// Think first and then talk!

When communicating with the interviewer, always keep calm and self-confidence, while not losing self-esteem. In no case do not allow emotions to break out - any increase in voice, retaliatory rudeness or outbursts of anger can mean a failed interview. Recruiters have enough ways to shake your balance. Do not be surprised to hear provocative questions, for example, “What did your actions at the previous place of work lead to the collapse of the company?” Or “Do you consider yourself too arrogant?” Do not focus on the hostility of the interlocutor, focus on the formulation of an answer worthy of you and remember - you, as a candidate, are tested for endurance in working with possible provocative-minded clients in disputed situations. Try to give a reasoned answer that would refute the statement of Heychar.

The HR manager can pretend to be misunderstood and ask the same question with the stubbornness of a Parrot parrot, as if he had not received an answer, trying to get you crazy. He does it not out of intent to mock. Perhaps, having received this work, you will come across just such a misunderstanding “simple truths” client.

Remember that many of the questions asked do not have the correct answers, therefore, it will not be evaluated the effectiveness, but the desire to find a solution, as if you were negotiating with the client and had to convince that he needs you.

// Make friends with the cat

Be prepared for the fact that HR can constantly interrupt you in a nutshell, rush, stop, express distrust of your words, in general, be the worst conversationalist in your life: “All this is nonsense, nonsense”, “Well, this is unlikely in our company come in handy "," Closer to the point "," We are not interested in what else you have? "In this situation, do not try to argue with a specialist - this will lead to conflict and a fight. Keep calm and check with Eichar exactly what moments do not suit him, and suggest an alternative. Be cunning and flexible.

There are many methods for conducting stress interviews, but in any case it should end on a positive note. In a good way, the recruiter must explain to you why the provocative questions were asked. If the interview ended in the same tough form as it began, then this can only speak of the incompetence of the HR specialist. As a rule, after such an interview, candidates rarely accept an invitation to work, and stress interviews are considered simply an insult.

// PS Situation - Changeling

Sometimes, the stress interview is borne by the employer. Who certainly is not ready for this is him. Maintaining composure is a basic rule in this game.

Andrey, head of the Elvis-NeoTek IT department, interviewed the applicant for the position of software testing engineer:

“I started with standard questions (approaches to assessing the quality of software, test cases, known technologies). She mumbles something slurred, does not know, in short, nothing. Well, I think that if a person has a technical mentality, he will master it. I start to ask something from Terver, combinatorics. She looks at me, claps her eyes, mumbles. Well, I think, kapets, Madame came to get an engineer. And most importantly, everything persuades: "Well, ask something else, I will answer." Here is a strange man.

I already have an impression not of what it was after reading the resume, but I continue to communicate, as there are still chances to take a person. The third question, the fourth - failure again. I don’t want to take such an employee, I want to leave. And here: “Well, ask something else!” Well, this is pointless! If you do not answer, then “dosvidos”, but even if you answer, it will not change anything: previous failures from this will not disappear! In short, it makes no sense to ask to ask something else when the interviewer already wants to finish the conversation.

But the girl asks to ask her something else. Well, don't ask 2X2, right? Okay, I ask: “How many bytes are in kilobytes?” Pause. Clap-clap eyes.

“One hundred?” - either answers, or she asks me. I'm starting to smile. “A thousand?” - the girl is almost crying. "A thousand ... Million ??" - already just trying to guess. Well, in general, she did not pass the interview. ”

You can read about ten ways to fill up an interview here .

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