I attended interview sessions countless of times. I went for jobs I like and I don’t like hoping to learn something new each time I answer a barrage of questions. When I was a newbie, I read a lot of articles on “how-to” and “how-not-to” answer interview questions. I focused only on “the questions” and failed to realize that what’s more important is to know who will be on the other end of the table, reasons why he will be there, and on the interview, his non-verbal communications which present his mood on that specific place and time.
According to the cliché, knowing the “enemy” (replace by “interviewer’ if attending an interview) is winning half the battle. I cannot agree more.
After watching Despicable Me 2, I saw similar traits of its characters to many of the interviewers I have faced. Let’s take a look and tell me if you recognize some:
(Spoiler Alert: Do not read if you haven’t watched Despicable Me 2. As of publish date of this blog post, I wonder who hasn’t?). All rights reserved and own by Universal Pictures.
He is the main protagonist in the Despicable Me 2 movie. He dreamt of becoming the world’s number 1 villain, to get the attention of her mother who has been ignoring him since his childhood days.
I have met a lot of Gru-like-interviewers, not because they’re also planning to steal the moon, or were neglected by their moms, but because at first, they seemed sneaky and somewhat cold hearted. Despite this first impressions, these Gru-like-interviewers were kind-hearted. Just ask the right questions at the right time, and you’ll get to see the soft spot of these Gru-like-interviewers.
Eduardo Perez, aka El Macho, is the main antagonist in Despicable Me 2. Hi is the famous super villain El Macho, who faked his death 20 years ago, with a story that he strapped 12 tons of TNT on himself and rode a shark into an exploding volcano.
El Macho-like-interviewers are the exact opposites of Gru-like-interviewers. They look charming and adorable on the outside, but behind the endearing smile, lies a hidden agenda- to take over the world.
So how do you deal with El macho interviewers? Be honest, direct, and not sugar coat your questions and answers. State your expectations as clearly as possible. Still, the best way is to research about these persons and get feedback from a common friend. I repeat, knowing your enemy is winning half the battle.
El Polito is Eduardo’s pet chicken and the supporting antagonist in Despicable Me 2. According to Eduardo, El Polito is usually friendly but if she recognizes intruders, she goes crazy on them.
Similarly, El Polito interviewers are very loyal to their organization. Any hint of disrespect to them, their colleagues, or to their company would bring them to their defensive stance and would probably place your application folder to the kept-for-future-reference.
Agnes is one of Gru’s adopted 3 daughters, with Margo and Edith. She is innocent and naïve, likes unicorns, and loves Gru very much.
Agnes interviewers are the fresh-out-of-college recruitment personnel. You usually face them on the first few series of interviews. Due to lack of experience, their questions are usually canned. Project confidence, answer their questions carefully, and do not attempt to bring-in the technical discussions to time, because their only goal is to validate what’s written on your resume.
Antonio is the son of Eduardo and the love interest of Margo Gru. He is smooth, sassy, and apparently lazy- he dreams of playing video games for a living.
For ladies, be careful with Antonio-like-interviewers who ask for your mobile numbers during the interview (your contact information, even your address is on your CV, duh!).
Answer questions on a professional manner, and politely decline too personal questions or those not related to the work you are applying for.
Minions are artificial beings, henchmen of Gru and fiercely loyal to him, with similar size and shape, but with features to tell them apart.
“They are impulsive creatures with little self-control, but with a wide-eyed wonder and odd innocence that endears them to viewers and makes them relatable.” (http://despicableme.wikia.com/wiki/The_Minions)
Minion-like-interviewers give color and inject some humor to the usually stressful interview process. We do not classify them as minion-like because they are dumb and odd, but they make the environment light and fun. Though that’s the case, always be respectful and professional. A witty remark to hitch-hike on an idea of minion-like-interviewers would show you are on the same wavelength and give you the rapport you need.
Regardless of what type you classify your interviewers, being respectful, professional, presenting yourself and your skills well, and doing your homework to know who your interviewers are and what they want, will make your interview experience desirable and not despicable.