How Employers will Test you in an Interview

How Employers will Test you in an Interview

Posted on May 24, 2012 by 

Ever felt uncertain in interviews because you think an interviewer may be quizzing you in ways you might be oblivious to? It’s most likely they are testing you, but not in an obvious way. These tricks however, can be beaten. There are a few differe nt techniques an interviewer will subtly employ in effort to test a candidate fully. This article will prepare you for any mind games that are thrown your way from behind the brown mahogany of your future boss’s desk.


‘Oops, I forgot your Name’

This is a technique used commonly by interviewers. It is normally gauged with mixed reactions ranging from rage from the person who took 3 trains just to have his name mistaken in an interview, to the meek candidate who will not utter a peep at the mistake. If an interviewer plays this card, demonstrate your confidence; politely inform them of their mistake instantly. This shows initiative and your ability not to be walked over.

Completing a Given Task

It is not uncommon in an interview to be given a task to solve. However, most of the time it is not completion of the task the interviewer is examining – it is how the candidate goes about it. If given a certain task, you should always ask questions about it and appeal for more information. This demonstrates your ability to communicate, the backbone of any working team.

Requesting for Further Contact

Never be tardy, if your interviewer requests for further information to be given to him via email or other medium of communication after an interview – you do it straight away. In doing so, you show your commitment and dedication to a given task.

“What, would you say, is your main Weakness?”

This is always a question which is asked by employers, and how you deal with it is crucial. Common answers such as ‘I work too hard’ or ‘I don’t have a weakness’ are, in fact, terrible. These answers give you an air of arrogance which is not desirable to any employer. What you should do is answer with not only with an occupational weakness not in the field of the job (so the employer doesn’t see a potential weakness on his team) but suggest ways that you are fixing it. For example, you could state that you are not great at public speaking, so you are taking stand-up comedy classes to improve on that. Your interviewer will see that you have not only recognised your own faults, but want to improve on them; turning your weakness into a kind of strength.


If an interviewer really wants to test you, this can be done through silence. Candidates will usually be a bag of nerves at an interview, and will try to fill the silence and probably say something that is not important – therefore damaging their interview. So what to if the interviewer deals silence? Hit them with silence straight back! Be calm and collected, for the interviewer will always resume speaking at some point.

Being ‘Chummy’

Some interviewers employ the technique of extreme friendliness in effort to subliminally make you think that they are your friend, prompting you into saying something that is not probably suitable for an interview. Always keep in mind that an interview is an interview – not a chin-wag with your mate.

The Receptionist

The interview isn’t just in the interviewer’s room; it’s in the reception also. Keep your guard up whilst in the entire office, and be exactly the same person you would be with the receptionist as you would be with the boss. Impressions are everything, so impress everyone.

On reading this, you should have a greater understanding of how to function when attending an interview. Always prepare yourself fully with knowledge of the company, be smart, friendly, punctual…and of course be on guard for any instances of subliminal interrogation an interviewer may be throwing your way.

Ben Waters is a writer for Agency Central; the online directory, serving both employers and jobseekers for recruitment agencies and jobs throughout the UK. When not putting pen to paper, Ben can be found in his home studio creating beautiful music – at least that’s what he thinks.


4 thoughts on “How Employers will Test you in an Interview

  1. I have not checked in here for some time as I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are great quality so I guess I will add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

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