How do you avoid getting angry or upset because you perceived in your mind (and the impression is very strong) they do not want to hire you and you are wasting your time by remaining there?
Instead of getting angry, you can simply leave politely, and keep your dignity. That is, if you are absolutely sure they won't hire you. You'd have to have very clear unmistakable evidence for that.
Without such external evidence, you don't know if they really won't hire you. There may be all kinds of reasons for the interviewers' behavior. You don't know what is going on in the interviewer's minds, how you compare to other candidates, and what conclusions they will draw. Taking that into account, you can rarely make a correct preemptive judgment, and without forming such a judgment, there is no reason to become angry.
Both anger and leaving early will guarantee that you do not get the job, so they are the poorest choices strategically if you actually want the job.
Edit, from comment:
OP: A interviewer might say oh you have no experience with Y and we want someone with X, then [...] I put all this effort trying to learn interview question and the unfairness of the situation, make me get confrontational with the interviewer
There is nothing "unfair" in what you are describing. The purpose of the interview is to find out if your actual expertise and personality are a match for the job, not how well you learned interview questions. Plus, you may get the job despite shortcomings, so jumping to conclusions mid-interview is premature. Since there is no inappropriate behavior on the side of the interviewer, and you experience this as "unfair" with anger, it raises the question if there is a deeper, underlying personal issue, that needs to be addressed in other ways.
Sorry for the old-school answer. I don't mean to cause offense, but sometimes a simple, blunt answer puts things in perspective.
Humans have the gift of intellect to rise above their emotions and live with wisdom. It requires discipline but the benefits are large. If you aim to be a mature and respectful person, then it's something you are—even if someone else is not treating you the same way.
Remember that in this situation it's not personal. In most circumstances you can politely excuse yourself if you feel your time is being wasted or you are being attacked. You just need to figure out how to do this in advance.
You have two goals in a job interview:
- Show them why they want to hire you
- Learn whether you want to work for them
Getting angry works directly against the first goal - who wants to work with someone who gets angry every time something doesn't go well?
Instead of viewing a setback as a defeat, try to view it as a new problem to be solved. And tell yourself that you're going to solve it.
In comments on another answer you give the example
For example a interviwer might say oh you never did X or you have no experience with Y and we want someone with X
If you face this, then you now need to convince them that they want to hire you anyway.
Talk about how you'd gain the experience they're looking for, or give an example of another time you were faced with a situation where you had no experience, but succeeded despite that.
You've now demonstrated a cool head in the face of a challenge, the ability to gain something positive from a negative situation, and described your capability to learn and grow, even if the interviewer didn't know they were looking for this when they made the comment.
If the interviewer is actually being rude to you (rather than you worrying that they might have decided not to hire you already - you don't and can't know what they're thinking), then it might be something to consider when thinking about your second goal - whether you want to work for them.
But honestly, from the situations you've described it sounds to me like you're writing yourself off when you don't need to.
How do you avoid getting angry or upset because you perceived in your mind (and the impression is very strong) they do not want to hire you and you are wasting your time by remaining there.
Before you do anything, you need to calm down (anger is not a great point of reference to make these decisions) and empirically evaluate whether you're absolutely, 100% certain that they don't want to hire you. Your judgement may not be as correct as you think it is here - the number of friends and colleagues I know who, on at least one occasion, received a job offer after writing the interview off is... rather high.
Staying calm in these situations often boils down to practice, but something a lot of people find helpful is just to forget that you're in an interview, relax, and pretend the interviewer is an existing colleague asking a few questions. Don't feel any pressure to get the "correct" answer, just say what you know, admit what you don't, and shrug off any bad reaction.
This could be for all sorts of reasons. They could be deliberately giving you tasks they know you won't be able to fulfil to see how you approach difficult problems. They could be being deliberately obtuse to see how you handle yourself with difficult colleagues. Their body language could just be all wrong, and they actually like you. They could be grimacing over the questions they've been forced to ask, not you. It's very difficult one to call.
If you're sure that you don't want to work there, then by all means thank them for their time and cut the interview short, if you feel able to and you deem that appropriate. But I'd never cut an interview short because I felt they didn't want me to work there. That's a potentially wasted opportunity if you've misread the situation even slightly - and the vast majority of people just aren't that good at reading those situations.
How do you avoid getting angry or upset because you perceived in your mind( and the impression is very strong) they do not want to hire you and you are wasting your time by remaining there.
You learn that there's no need to get angry, and that anger isn't helpful in that context anyway.
Assuming you are sure that staying would be a waste of your time, you say something like "I can see that this isn't going to work. Thank you for your time." Then you get up, shake hands and walk out.
That way, you haven't wasted any more time than necessary.
(Yes, I've done this myself)
Or, you just grit it out and wait for the eventual outcome, again realizing that anger can't help your situation.
DON'T snatch defeat from the jaws of victory
You don't understand what's happening in this interview. For one thing, they are just as covetous of their time than you are; if they thiught they were wasting your time, they would not hesitate to break it off. Some angles you're not considering:
They are looking for the best suitable candidate; they may now realize that their wish-list of qualifications is totally unrealistic. In other words, you are judging yourself as underqualified based on their wish-list, and judging you is not your job.
They know you're not a fit for this particular position, but they know of a different position they'd like you for. So this interview is about prequalifying you for a callback on that one.
They are screening you for a shortlist of people they'd like to call in the future if they see a position. Alternately, if they like you enough that they want you on their team, they may create a position for you.
Keep in mind this job marketplace. It is very tight. Companies are held back for lack of available people. Companies are very accustomed to being unable to find the staff they want, taking the staff they can get, and developing them. This requires choosing carefully. Thus, they are looking for the "soft stuff" like not storming angry out of an interview at the first sign of discouragement :)
Seeking employment just is stressful. Nature of the beast.
As the employment agencies would remind you, it is a full time job.
The interviewing process is particularly onerous when applying for career employ. If you want an easier process, try W-2 contracting, where the company places for a weekly or monthly contract at 125-150% of career wage (but few benefits) but taxes work the normal way (no 1099 discipline needed). If those go well, the employer often will make an offer to convert you to career. Those interviews only take about 15 minutes, because it's just about salary.
How do you avoid getting angry or upset because you perceived in your mind (and the impression is very strong) they do not want to hire you and you are wasting your time by remaining there
You need to have a positive attitude, always want to learn and patience.
First off, by going to interview you're investing your time (you could say gambling if you don't know the company very well) to have a chance for building relations and spot to work for them. So usually you would be well prepared and try your very best, likewise, they would try to explain company culture and job description and test you if you're a good fit for them. Since an interview is a way for both parties to know each other better.
From my experience, if the company didn't want you it would be caused by one thing or another which are not a good fit for them (either you are not attentive enough for doing detailed task which would be a required skill for your job later on, or you're impatient for doing tedious task which would be your required skill set later on, etc). Even then they would communicate to you the best as they could.
So if you're angry or upset because they do not want to hire you that's a bit unreasonable because you shouldn't be angry with them, but reflect on what you're missing out or didn't do well in the interview. Also, don't be afraid to respond with an alternative answer which isn't the straight-forward answer, because you need to be creative and show effort.
For example, if they say you don't have X skill but you have Y skill. You could try to say, I know I don't have the required skill but if I was given the chance I would be able to learn them and contribute to the company.
Finally, even if the interview is going so bad you could always brush it off as a way to gain experience of what not to do for later interview and if you got the chance to be the interviewer later on.
If you can't then you need to practice, learn more about how to do it, and ask professional help.
The answers given do a nice job of giving a straight answer, but I wanted to speak to a couple comments that were made in the meantime, by OP.
I fairly regularly interview software developers, so hopefully i can mention a bit of what happens on the other side of the table.
I just have a feeling they will not hire you because at times bin some interviews they ask you a million and questions and if you answer one wrong, then I feel the interviewer is thinking screw this guy we will not hire him. They try and find reasons to eliminate you so I feel well I already messed up I answered a question wrong might as well quit.
What the interviewer is actually thinking is "i wonder what this says about this candidate".
A question should never have exactly one correct answer - if a candidate struggles to get to the end of a question, the interviewer shifts to wondering how the candidate grapples with a problem that he hasn't already solved. Do they give up in a fluster? Do they try to suss out a reasonable way to solve it, even if they don't know the problem space? Do they re-apply old techniques (and do those techniques work)? Do they ask questions to fill in blanks that others might take for granted? etc.
Interviews are not just about what you know, they're about how you work. How you act when you can't nail a problem is extremely important to interviewers.
a interviwer might say oh you never did X or you have no experience with Y and we want someone with X, then in my mind I am like I been written out my resume will be thrown into the trash
It's possible this interview was just a bad fit, in which case this is the fault of the recruiters, who should have screened out candidates with a totally different skillset than the job requires. Remember, the company is paying people to interview you - they aren't going to do that just to shred your resume. They're invested in this as much as you are.
The interviewer is (a bit inexpertly) saying "now we're getting to the good stuff." As above, they're looking to see how you act when you're not in your comfort zone.
Seeming that they don't want to hire you is not a 0% of being hired. Don't bank on <1% chances but don't miss them neither if you want the job.
Take the interview as a learning experience to do better next time. Memorize the common talking points, vocabulary, then have a good anecdote/story to tell for each one that pulls up your image. Take note on what you do, say and react with and how they react to you. Change what you do to improve your chances.
Its only a waste of your time if you make it a waste of your time.
I went to an interview once where the test I was given clearly showed this job had nothing to do with my experience and was a waste of time. I was left alone in the room and contemplated just bailing but decided against it.
I had already spent the 3 hours driving to the location and the time was allocated for the interview anyway so I just stayed and finished my test.
Now that all the worry and stress of weather or not I'd be hired was gone (since I knew I was not going to get the job) I used the interview as an exercise opportunity. Practiced my interviewing skills and more importantly they did go trough my test answers and told me what (most) I did wrong.
All in all it was a positive experience for me, albeit very cringey.
They could simply be testing how you react by acting disinterested.
It's not uncommon for an interviewer to see what kind of "rise" he can get out of a candidate by saying something slightly off-putting. Where you think he's dismissing you as unqualified, but is just trying to see how reactionary you are.
For example, an interviewer once looked my resume over and said:
"So... I see you went to University of ABC I hear that's a PARTY SCHOOL.".
He was absolute right. But he was clearly baiting me to be offended. And my answer was too easy as I smiled:
"Well it definitely has that rep at some level, but my graduate school work didn't allow for much craziness. I think I studied more in grad school at U of ABC than I did as an undergrad at other univesrity. The football was better though."
He laughed and told me where he went to school. Turns out his college had a big party rep as well.
How do you avoid getting angry or upset because you perceived in your mind (and the impression is very strong) they do not want to hire you and you are wasting your time by remaining there?
Excellent question! It contains the seeds of its answer. It doesn't help that job interviews are very stressful situations.
Let's break this down by category:
You get angry. This means you are getting into the 'fight or flight' response.
Unfortunately, 'fight or flight' shuts down the cortex (the part of our brains that is smart, but relatively slow) and puts the limbic system in charge (the part of our brains that is not smart, but is fast).
Our bodies do this because if e.g. a predator is running towards you: while your cortex is "hmmm, I wonder what would be an optimal response to <AIEEE!!!> <glitch>", your limbic system will have you halfway up a tree with no idea of how you got there. Not too good for job interviews, though.
Some things to try:
- Counseling if you can
- Practice interviews to get more accustomed to them and practiced -- cut the stress
- Breath meditation (no religious component, just slow, regular breathing patterns and visualizations) will train your brain to be calm. Can take a class, or there are lots of YouTube videos and how-tos on this.
- Regular exercise helps a lot
Interpretation / 'Mind Reading'
"Perceived in your mind":
- You were in a situation
- Some events occurred.
- Your mind processed them, based on your current beliefs, and came to some conclusions / made up a story.
The trick is in learning to not believe the first story your mind comes up with, especially if it involves:
- 'Black and white' thinking: words like always, never, everyone, no one, all, none.
- 'Mind reading': belief that you know exactly what other people were thinking.
- 'Tunnel vision': this one event is the only important factor.
Google "distorted thought patterns". People get trained in technology and how to use computers, but not how to think clearly and use the processor between our ears well.
An interview is a very artificial social situation which makes it especially difficult to read people, because they don't act how they normally would.
It's pretty common for interviewers to come across as overly stern or critical, as a result of taking that role of evaluating someone else. Many people don't even realise they're doing it, or at least not the extent to which they are. They're often projecting an impression back at you which is nothing at all like the one they actually have.
The point being, just remember that you really have no clue what someone else on the other side of the interview table is thinking. You really don't. Certainly never act on it!
Even in the very rare case an interview is going badly yet they have to continue because of process or law, it's not a waste of time at all, it's a great opportunity for a learning experience - a real interview situation where you've nothing to lose and can practice your interviewing technique, perhaps even trying some new things and taking some risks. And hey, you never know, you might even turn it around by doing this!
This may seem strange but before you go to the interview mark the entire day time wise in you mind as lost/dead. Only the time, not what you are doing. This works with other things too where anxiety sprouts because of the duration of things. If you have already written the day off in your mind, you will not feel the same intense level of anxiety at the waste and will be able to relax more.
Anger is rarely the best resonse to anything. As others have pointed out, you may need to get some professional help, or at least anger-management classes.
If you meant it less literally though, perhaps you might take this into consideration? I'm a senior freelance software-engineer (enterprise architect) for very large banks, and I interview a lot of people.
The real strength of an IT guy lies in how they solve problems, so I in my interviews I ask questions that I know the interviewee cannot answer. Often from different domains, and different technologies than the ones listed on their CVs. I can often see the despair in the faces of these people. I don't hire them. I hire the ones who get excited.
Of course, I ask some validatory questions regarding what's on the CV/resume, but most people are honest so those questions aren't that useful. I need to know how an engineer will respond under pressure in a situation where there is a pressing problem to solve because that's basically the important part of the job.
Here's an example (sorry if you're a non-technical reader, I'll try to explain it later): "How can you implement the singleton pattern in Java?".
(non-techies: this is an engineering question, we often implement structures from a pattern book. A singleton is where you only have one of something).
Now, this is a great question. The internet is full of short simple answers with examples that are really easy to memorise. However, they are all totally wrong. They're wrong because, in reality, we work for large corporations and we're talking about something called Enterprise Software -- this is almost always large-scale and hard, and in these systems, it is impossible to create singleton with the patterns presented in books (pattern book: 10 pages on singletons, in reality, it would take a whole book to explain how to do it right and requires in-depth understanding of distributed systems, consensus algorithms, and network failure modes).
When I ask this question, I always get the stock response, from the pattern books. Always. I have never had a different answer. Everyone is taught this pattern in college. Then I casually point out that the answer they gave is totally wrong, given the context of enterprise software development. Then I watch them crumble. This is the exciting bit. This is the bit where you might get angry and literally lose the plot, but at which some people realise that this is a game and start to really enjoy themselves. Having the wrong answer is where this starts -- being wrong, being under pressure, and being forced to perform like a circus animal. Some people don't like that -- for the right sort of person, this is a chance to shine, to spar with a well prepared and probably superior intellect and to show just how clever you really are.
So, don't be angry when you're clearly failing. Your response to failure might be the factor you're being judged on.
If both parties in an interview are acting in good faith, they are both interested in having a good interview or to put it another way, a bad interview wastes everyones time. It's important to realize that in some interviews one party may act in bad faith for example one person might simply see the interview as an opportunity to stroke their own ego by proving how smart/superior they are.
It requires skill to interview a candidate and unless a company has good training materials / processes in place you may encounter people who simply don't have the skill necessary to interview effectively. If your had a batch of 4 interviews and one was bad you probably shouldn't read too much into it. However if every single interview was bad that is a red flag, because even if you can negotiate the process to land a job, future candidates will also have to negotiate the same process.
It can be an advantage to you (as a candidate) if you encounter a "low skill interviewer", the reason being, that most candidates that the low skill interviewer encounters, probably look bad - simply because the interview is not able to ask relevant questions that allow the candidate to demonstrate their skill.
As such if you can anticipate what information the interview is trying to get (the questions they should be asking), you can flush out your other answers to also include the information they are looking for. Another tip would be to provide information even when you are not sure, something like: I am not sure but I think the X is probably the correct answer, because reason Y....
Finally it's useful to assume that you might have a bad interview (at some point) in the future. It is helpful to imagine the types of situations that might occur and decide how to handle them now (while you are calm and have time to think them through). Simply put at the point you realize that the interview is going badly there is no way for you to change what has already happened and most likely you are not going to get the job today. Therefore the only decision you really have is how best to use the remaining time and/or remaining interviews, I would suggest there are only really three choices:
Switch to "practice mode" - you're not getting the job so you may as well practice answering questions to see what works best.
Recover the time - make a polite excuse and ask to leave.
Ask for feedback/tips, say something like: I don't think I am doing a good job of representing myself here, if I could change one thing that would improve my chances at the next company what would it be - the worst that can happen is that the interview refuses to give any feedback.
For completeness - there is one other possibility - you could try to recover the interview. I would probably advise against this, you have probably been trying to present yourself in the most favorable light up until this point, second guessing yourself (with the associated stress that will create), probably won't get you anywhere - use the time more effectively by picking one of the previous options.
It can be helpful to put yourself in the shoes of the interviewer. Some things to keep in mind:
- Technical interviewers often have little to no training on interviewing. Give them a little room to make mistakes too.
- They may have interacted with quite a few candidates, and what for you was an intense one-on-one experience could be for them a lot of very similar mundane conversations getting muddled.
- They are interviewing for their ideal candidate, and ask questions accordingly, but no one they interview will be perfect.
Another technique that helps me relax in interviews is to try to make the conversation cooperative instead of adversarial. Think of the questions like they are already your coworker and you are helping them. If a coworker asked you what you thought about a new library that no one else in the office had experience with, how would you respond?
I might say something like, "That does X right? I don't have any direct experience with it, because I usually use this other common method to do X, but it often results in awkward situation Y. Does your library alleviate that problem at all? One reason I haven't tried your library is I heard it often results in some really messy xml configuration. Has that been your experience so far?"