The first one, Impression Management, is how applicants try to present the best version of themselves in order to create a better impression in front of the interviewer. Interviewers do not usually deal with this trick, because it can be perceived positively. It shows that the candidates really want the job. Interviewers just need to be aware of this in order to know if a candidate has overstepped the mark and is, in fact, lying.
It is known that all interviewers in the process are human and all human have subjective impressions. Any biases that interviewers may have can be constructively reviewed by comparing the answers of the candidate, trying to keep these biases or “feeling” in mind. For example, do not kid yourself: “his answers weren’t very convincing but (…) he was a nice guy so maybe it can work”. Usually when there is a doubt about the profile, there is a good reason for it.
Faking Good is the trick that interviewers want to manage the most. It is the creation of a fake image, the intentional distortion of responses to interview questions or the use of self-misrepresentation in order to create a fake impression. Interviewers said that they have to make the candidate feel comfortable so they are less tempted to fake good, try not to give them insights about what interviewer would “need” them to answer by asking neutral questions and trying not to influence their answers. They should also establish that feeling of trust so that they can open up and not be afraid to ask direct questions to get direct answers (always bearing in mind respect and politeness).
Also, some participants ask a few “special questions” that candidates could not have prepared for. Other mechanisms consist of making the interviewee explain more about the subject s/he is trying to evade or explain it a bit more detail. For example, if they answer fast without even thinking about what they are saying, it could be because they have repeated the same sentence many times before in their head, there is no time for spontaneous facial expressions or movements.
The last trick is Interview Coaching, which consists of interviewees having been coached in order to improve their interview performance. Even if it is perceived as a positive sign by the interviewer, some professionals highlight that it is important to manage it. They believe that it is merely intuitive and it differs greatly from candidate to candidate. Some professionals would say voice tone or body language help in general to observe all these factors, especially interview coaching. TSP as a consultancy firm, is the agent who coach the candidates during the interview with the recruitment consultants in order to have better results when these candidates are interviewed by the final client.
Finally, what is shown by these tricks, is that they are present in the candidates so interviewers should try to separate their judgment about these variables and be open-minded about the different profiles in the labour market. Moreover, it is difficult to minimize the influence of these tricks because they are always present during the interview (to a higher or lower extent) but recruiters try to remain neutral and focus their questions the right way in the end they should be able to present a valid candidate.
Written by Cecilia Ponce