What Type of Interviewee Are You? The Common Types, Pros & Cons of Each


During any given day, hiring managers and interviewers connect with dozens of candidates, getting to know a wide variety of people and personalities. What type of interviewee are you and what are the pros and cons?

#1 – The BFF

Key Traits: You greet your interviewer with a hug and a, “Oh my goodness, I’ve been waiting SO long to meet you!” By the time the interview is over, you know what they love and hate about their job, how many kids they have, and the minute details of the best moment of their life.

Pros: Your interviewer feels like a million bucks after interviewing you, like he or she just had lunch with an old friend. Statistics show that interviewers commonly fall prey to their own biases, including hiring people who they like or who seem like them, and you’ve put yourself in a great position from that perspective.

Cons: Too much personal connection may give your hiring manager the impression that you’ll do the same in the workplace: talk instead of produce. Additionally, casual, personal conversation often results in sharing too much personal information, which can hurt your chances of gaining employment.

#2 – The Coveted Candidate

Key Traits: You’re in high demand. You’re entertaining multiple offers at once – or expect to be – and taking your time to ensure you get the best deal with the best company. You’re slightly invasive during interview, especially when it comes to other offers you’re entertaining, when you can start, or when they can expect you to make a decision about an offer, simply because you have the upper hand and you’re not sure how the dice will land yet.

Pros: You really do have the upper hand in the process and can choose from almost any position you want, and employers really do want the benefit of your knowledge, experience, and connections.

Cons: Employers may pass on you because they don’t have time to wait, didn’t get the impression you were engaged in the process, or aren’t sure they can afford you.

#3 – The Newbie

Key Traits: You’ve never done this before but you’re 180% confident you can if given the right chance. When asked about experience, you’re very creative, citing life experiences, school projects, and some of your favorite reading. You’re hungry for success and desperate for the opportunity to get your foot in the door.

Pros: The interviewer sees you as confident, passionate, committed, and hungry, which means you’re likely to come early, stay late, and innovate.

Cons: Overconfidence without experience can lead to detrimental errors in your work; be confident but clear about the importance of respecting what’s been done in the past and relying on mentors when exploring unchartered territory.

#4 – The Cocky

Key Traits: You’re super confident; as a matter of fact, you know you’re getting an offer before the interview even starts. Because you know you’re the talent to nab, your interviewer may feel as if you’re interviewing them rather than the other way around.

Pros: You’ve likely seized every opportunity to talk about yourself and position yourself positively, leaving no doubt about your qualifications when you walk out the door. Confidence can be reassuring when the company needs an expert.

Cons: There’s a fine line between confident and cocky, and cocky people can be hard to lead, hard to get along with, and hard to influence when change is needed.

#5 – The Unprepared

Key Traits: Maybe you’re used to the kind of interview where you show up with an application and get the job, or maybe some extenuating circumstances left you unable to do any sort of research or real preparation for this interview… or maybe you’re just really lazy. Whatever the case, you end up fumbling over your interview answers, blurting out a few wrong or inaccurate things and generally are just wasting the interviewer’s (and your!) time. 

Pros: Hey, this might be your first professional interview or first interview for a coveted position so you can look at this as a rite of passage! Now you know what to expect and how to better prepare for future interviews. Thankfully, more high schools, colleges, and universities are providing coaching and training on the professional interview well before graduation to ensure students know what to expect and go into every interview ready to seize the opportunity with confidence.

Cons: Because you were unprepared, you didn’t have the best opportunity to impress. Depending on your ability to adjust in the moment, you may have to mark this as a valuable experience and keep looking.


In conclusion, don’t forget that you get to choose what kind of interviewee you are. Research, practice, and prepare in advance to nail the interview!


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