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Recently, I attended a job interview during which I was interrupted several times by the interviewer in order to ask another question. I wasn't finished answering yet. I didn't mind the division of my speech and answered the new question.

I got the impression that it was intentional. Could it be some kind of interviewing strategy or it could be my misinterpretation?

If it is a strategy, what is the pupose of this? What could be done in this situation to answer questions properly?

  • 1
    agree with Joe. I noticed I use to get cut off all the time in interviews until someone was eventually kind enough to tell me that I had a habit of reiterating what I said several times for every answer. – pi31415 May 23 '14 at 11:20
  • I don't think I talked too much. Interviewer interrupted me after 2 or 3 short sentences. – user2191454 May 23 '14 at 11:23
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    Hard to say. I ran into one interviewer who asked me a series of rapid fire questions that kept me off-balance and responding with the first thing that came to mind, and the first thing that came to mind was the truth. It is also possible that the interviewer doesn't particularly care about your feelings and as soon as you are giving you the reply he is looking for, he'll be firing the next question at you while your mind is still on the previous questions. Every other interviewer I ran into took a more relaxed approach, even as they skewered me. – Vietnhi Phuvan May 23 '14 at 11:53
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    The interviewer may be less experienced at interviewing than you. – kevin cline May 23 '14 at 13:59
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Without a lot more detail, it's hard to know for sure.

One possibility is that you were giving a more detailed answer than the interviewer wanted to hear. Most times, an interviewer will have a set of questions that they want to go through and they only have a limited time to get through them. If a candidate spends too much time answering some questions, that leaves less time for the remaining questions. An interviewer may need to interrupt to keep the conversation moving forward.

I suppose it's also possible that the interviewer is acting rudely intentionally in order to see how a candidate reacts to rude customers. That's more likely if the position is something that has a lot of direct action with customers. I'm far from a fan of that sort of thing but I'm sure there are interviewers that take that approach.

Undoubtedly, though, there are other possibilities. Perhaps the interviewer was just in a bad frame of mind-- perhaps she had a major project due and was anxious to get back to her desk to finish it. Perhaps the interviewer was just a bad interviewer. Perhaps your communication styles just didn't mesh well-- it sometimes takes people time to figure out when someone else is pausing because they're done speaking rather than pausing as a natural part of speaking, for example. It's impossible to know with any real certainty what might have been in any particular interviewer's mind during any particular interview.

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One other alternative: the interviewer may have judged after only two or three sentences of yours that your answer would be perfect... or utter crap. In either case, he may have thought that continuing your answer would not yield incremental information about you to him. So he rather switched to something else. I'll agree that there are more and less polite ways to do this.

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    This is not an answer, nor does it add an alternative too Justin's answer. It's just his first option told in other words. – Kevin May 23 '14 at 11:37

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