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How to Prepare for These 3 Curveball Interview Techniques


Very few people will look you right in the eye and tell you that they love interviewing for jobs — and those that do are probably lying. We have no idea what the tone of an interview will be, before we’re actually in it. The best thing to do is to prepare for every possible contingency.

Alyssa Goldman at LearnVest spoke with career coach Anna Goldstein to get an idea of how to cope with some of the tougher and more unexpected interview techniques. Here’s a sample of what you might encounter, and how to deal:

1. Scare Tactics

The interviewer isn’t smiling at you. Her body language is aggressive, or closed off, but she’s definitely not giving you an inch or helping you out in any way. Maybe she’s pausing just a beat after your replies. It seems almost like she’s purposely intimidating you, but is it in your head?

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Probably not. A lot of interviewers like to create artificial pressure in the initial meeting, to see how candidates cope with stress. Take a deep breath, gather your thoughts, and refuse to be intimidated. State your case calmly, and whatever you do, don’t let her make you fidget.

2. The Salary Question

If the hiring manager asks what your salary range is right off the bat, you have two choices, according to Goldstein: one is to ask if you can defer the question until later in the interview, and the other is to name a price high in the range. Whatever you do, don’t underbid yourself. Do your research ahead of time, to make sure you know what a reasonable range is for the role.

3. Personal Questions

Not inappropriate questions — those, you can deflect. But if an interviewer asks about your hobbies, for example, they might be trying to figure out if you’re a good fit for the company culture.

Whatever you do, don’t too personal, Goldstein advises. Just because companies aren’t allowed to discriminate against parents, for instance, doesn’t mean they won’t.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a horrible interview story to tell? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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