Different Types of Interviewers You Might Encounter

From the desk of Specialty Recruiter, Myra Penton, CSP


Every interview is unique. From the moment you walk in the door, you can never bank on one interview experience being like another. However, one of the biggest differences you experience can be the based on the approach and personality of the interviewer. This blog looks at 3 different interviewing types, and how to deal with each one.

The Traditionalist

These interviewers like to do things by the book. They expect you to show up on time and well prepared, wearing your best suit and ready to impress. They want to know how you will meet their expectations and will ask you questions that are common and even familiar. These interviews are almost always held in-person (as opposed to over the phone) and are largely behavioral and experience evaluations. Interviewers will predominately look for examples of past work experiences that can illustrate your potential for success in the job you are applying for.

To ace an interview with a traditionalist, consider using something called the STAR system to help in answering questions. Allow the Situation, Task, Action, and Result (STAR) to provide the framework for your answers describing your past work experiences. Also pull content directly from your resume as needed, and remember to present yourself as an optimistic and team oriented candidate.

The Mentor

These interviewers think of themselves as more so as teachers than hiring managers. While they might choose not to hire you at the end of the meeting, they want you to at least have learned something from the experience. These interviews might seem more informational in nature than a traditional interview, but don’t forget that you are being evaluated for a position along the way. Mentor types will often probe into your motivations and your preferences to see whether you would be a good fit for the job and whether you will be content in the position should you be selected from the talent pool. They encourage interviewees to compare expectations with the demands of the position to help find out if you are the best candidate for the job.

To impress a mentor-type, show yourself as teachable. Ask good questions and be open to their suggestions. Mentor types make great recruiters and excellent additions to your professional network so even if you don’t get the job, your time with them is not wasted. Oftentimes you can learn important things about how the industry or company would respond to your overall career goals. Better yet, they might be able to connect you with other hiring managers looking for candidates with your exact skill set.

The Surveyor

Some interviews turn into a sequence of several interviews, where you meet with multiple different team members in addition to the hiring manager. Don’t think that just because you’re being introduced around the office means that you’ve got the job. Often these interviewers are looking for a second opinion or two. As the success of the team depends on the ability of the individuals to support and work with each other, each opinion counts in whether you are given the opportunity. Often, no decision is made until the team has had the chance to discuss each other’s interview. The bottom line with this type of interviewer is that every first impression counts. Keep your energy up and be ready to impress multiple stakeholders, because each of those interviews is as important as the other.

For more tips on how to ace your next job interview, connect with the recruiters at PSG Mississippi today!

Myra Penton, CSP – Specialty Recruiter

Whether you are an existing client, an employer looking for the best fit for your next hire, or the star candidate ready to be placed with one of PSG’s fabulous client companies, you can count on me to be your advocate! Many PSG recruiters have first-hand employment experience in their recruitment specialty area; I am a former legal secretary with years of office administration experience. I love my job, I love the people I work with, and I love that I have the chance to make a real difference in someone’s life each day.

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