I was interviewing at this company (an established startup), and the interviewers appeared to be uninterested in talking at all. I was interviewed by the CEO and another person. The CEO didn't say anything the whole time. The whole interview happened in less than 5 minutes, the interviewer didn't bother to greet me, my answers were interrupted, and when I indicated that I had no further questions, I was returned with a final "Thank you.".

What's the mind game being played here? Should I be begging them and go on and on about my qualifications? Or should I just pretend I don't care?

It is possible that the interviewers were tired or distracted by their other tasks. I have no idea how many people were interviewed that day.

Also, if the result has already been determined, what's the point of asking me to the interview anyway?

  • 12
    There are so many possible scenarios, it would be difficult to answer. But if I had been there, I would have just asked. "You don't seem interested in talking to me. So why am I here?" May 22, 2016 at 16:05
  • 1
    Possible duplicate of What to do with a completely unprepared interviewer?
    – Jim G.
    May 22, 2016 at 20:33
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    I was once told that I was hired at a company and that the last part of the process was to meet the CEO, merely as a formality. Otherwise, I was told "welcome aboard". I sat there for over an hour while I overheard the CEO in the room next door yakking on the phone about what restaurant to order food from. Ever seen the episode of Breaking Bad with that jerk Walt saw while standing in line that the bank? The CEO was basically that guy. Finally he came in, asked me a few questions, then walked out. 2 hours later, I got an email saying I wasn't hired. Sometimes people are just jerks. May 24, 2016 at 18:03

3 Answers 3


Clearly that interviewer thinks you're a waste of time to interview. It is unlikely a mind game is being played here. That reason for the short interview could be because:

  1. The interviewer doesn't think the company needs a new person in that role.

  2. The interviewer knows the company isn't really going to hire someone in that role.

  3. The interviewer thinks you're totally unsuited for the job.

However, the reason doesn't really matter. They don't want you. Get over it and move on.

  • 12
    Another one is where the interview is a formality as they have an internal (or known) candidate but have to go through the motions of an external candidate. May 22, 2016 at 15:51
  • 1
    Or they're looking to hire an H1-B and any American applicants will automatically be considered unqualified. May 22, 2016 at 20:03
  • 2
    @Loren: That makes no sense. Dealing with H1-B is never better than not having to deal with such issues at all. May 23, 2016 at 10:48
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    @LorenPechtel - I am an H1b and, assuming the company is at least trying to stay on the right side of the law, hiring an H1b is significantly more of a PITA than hiring an American for the job.
    – brhans
    May 24, 2016 at 14:41
  • 1
    @brhans More hassle but less money. Most H1-Bs are unfair competition. May 24, 2016 at 18:32

I would opine the following.

  1. The person interviewing you knows his/her opinion would not matter. For example, I had an on-site interview where I met with several people. One of the interviews was with someone in upper management. It became very clear that this interview was just a formal procedure, since I will likely not be working with him anyways. It is the technical interviews with colleagues and team leader (this job was technical) that really counts. So he didn't care who the team picked. It simply did not matter to him, and he has other things on his plate to get to.

  2. The person interviewing you is unsatisfied with his/her job. For instance, this person might be considering leaving the company and has no stake in whether you get hired or not. He/she is probably too busy trying to find his/her next gig.


I do not think there is a "mind game" going on.

Consider that they have filled the position. Or budget slashed. Or the interviewer was thrown in at the deep end at the last minute. Perhaps the interview has personal problems.

Either way - chalk it up to experience. It was a job that was not meant to be.

Better luck next time

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