Job candidates often fall victim to head games, the kind an interviewer plays on interviewees, and the kind that interviewees play on themselves. You could be the unwilling recipient of head games during any type of interview discussed in Chapter 9: phone, Skype, one-on-one, panel, and group interviews.
If you have the sneaking suspicion the interviewer is jerking your chain, you are probably right. Unfortunately, some interviewers will play mind games with job candidates to test their reactions. If you are unflappable, you will pass the acid test and may receive a job offer or, at least, be a finalist. If you crumble, then the interviewer will assume you probably cannot handle the stresses of the job. When you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen as the saying goes.
Although mind games cannot determine how you would handle stress in a real-life work situation, some interviewers persist in playing them. How can you tell if the interviewer is playing games? Chances are good if he starts challenging your response with pointed statements, such as “You gotta be kidding me.” “You really believe that?” “That wouldn't work here at all.”
Sometimes interviewers pretend they are mini-psychologists and try to crack open your brain and look inside. They will ask a barrage of questions that begin with “why” or “what.” For example: Why would you ever want to work here? What compelled you to accept some of your past jobs? What drives you to do the things you do? ...