Personal contact in a job interview

About halfway through the interview, you and the interviewers have made some sort of contact and have formed some basic impressions. You're busily working on your sales pitch, staying professional, (don't ever be anything but, at any interview) and you're trying to figure out how the interviewers are seeing your answers.

One's writing furiously, another isn't, and the convener, you've just noticed, really is made of granite.

So what's happening? How's your sales pitch going?

The minute taker at an interview has to write like mad. The convener is being professional, according to some opinions, because of this rock-like neutrality. Some people really do behave quite differently as interviewers. Don't assume you're talking to a statue, because you aren't.

What's happening is they're doing their jobs.

For the holdouts who still think a job interview is the end of the world, this is work. The interviewers have a job to do, and they're busy doing it. That's all that's happening, so stop worrying and get on with the interview.

The personal contact at this point is all business. That's good for you as an interviewee, because it means you're being taken seriously, your points are being noted, and you're at least credible as a job candidate.

Very important: It is possible to misinterpret personal contact signals because of interview methods and techniques.

There are variations of interview methods, and to make your sales pitch effectively, you need to be aware of them, including this one in particular:

There's a version of interview techniques which is Good Cop Bad Cop. One interviewer is really nice, the other is very negative. It helps get information out of people, usually directed at the sympathetic looking interviewer.

Ignore it.

Drive straight through.

Make sure the negative interviewer gets some of the answers, with direct eye contact, and isn't being avoided. You're telling the interviewers you're not going to be put off by the technique, and that will get you some further credibility, and your competence will be noted.

(Some people do not have a clue how to handle this technique, and the results are pretty pitiful. Don't put yourself through any unnecessary suffering. Just answer the questions, and to hell with interview techniques.)