It doesn’t matter how much you prepare for your office manager interviews, you will eventually run across an interviewer who manages to throw you off your game. Keep in mind that these hiring managers often do this on purpose to determine how you react under pressure or in situations you weren’t expecting. There is good news. You can prepare yourself for these unexpected interviews a few ways by understanding how different interviewers may try to get you to crack. Here are the top three tough office managers to look out for.

  1. Hard to impress.
    Job seekers are coached to tell stories of their accomplishments. This is meant to impress the manager and allow them to see how your past successes can benefit the company. However, some managers down play their enthusiasm. They may be impressed, but that they want to see how you react to their lack of reaction. As impressive as you are, when you start at their company you’ll be among a number of people with great backgrounds. You may have been special in your last company, but you’ll be starting from scratch again in this one. To respond appropriately, don’t allow this response to deflate you and don’t look visibly annoyed. Instead, use this as an opportunity to sell soft skills such as giving credit to other members of your team.
  2. Your best friend.
    Sometimes the interviewer is on the absolute opposite end of the spectrum and is super friendly rather than aloof. This type of interviewer will be someone you genuinely like and want to spend time with. In some cases, this may be their natural personality, but they also may be testing you. Some people simply reject the idea of a formal interview and would like to have a conversation. Others want you to see the laidback nature of their corporate culture. Others may adopt this persona to ensure the candidate is relaxed. When you interview with someone who is so casual you have to strike a balance in your own strategy. Don’t get too comfortable that you share inappropriate information or don’t take the meeting seriously. Be professional, but relatable in your conversation.
  3. Distracted by everything.
    Finally, everyone has been in a situation where the person at the other end of the meeting wants to be anywhere but there. This interviewer may not interview often. Or they’ve been asked to take the meeting last minute and were unprepared. Or, something else is going on in the office, affecting their ability to focus. Your job remains the same. You have to impress the interviewer. Rather than trying for a personal connection, just get to the point. Spend your time telling them, in brief, why they should hire you and what you can contribute to their company. You may have to take the reins in this discussion. Ask pointed questions about the company. They’re rushing, so they may be missing important information.

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