Photo Credit: Charles Deluvio,

A Professional Interviewer vs an Interviewee Who’s Professional

There’s a difference between interview candidates who prepare and present themselves professionally during the interview versus candidates who are viewed as professional interviewers.

The professional interviewer doesn’t have unique answers and stories of their own, but instead has researched the “right” things to say during an interview. While it may seem like an easy exercise in memorization and an approach to nail the interview questions, this approach to the interview lacks authenticity and sincerity during the interview.

How to spot the Professional Interviewer

While it may not be easy to initially spot a professional interviewer, it can be done. The professional interviewer will usually have canned responses to common interview questions — all of which are easily found on the internet.

There are several sites that offer the correct way to respond to difficult interview questions, such as, “What’s your greatest weakness?” Many sites advise answering this question with a perceived strength, such as compassion or working too hard, as opposed to authentically answering the question. Seasoned hiring managers and Human Resources professionals can easily see through the facade. While interview preparation is key, it’s how you prepare and present yourself that can make or break the interview.

Interview Preparation

When preparing for an interview, it’s common and acceptable to search for commonly asked interview questions and browse through suggested responses. Use the questions and response feedback as a guide for your response using your own professional and personal experience.

Using the example question above of, “What’s your greatest weakness” — it’s acceptable to actually state a weakness! Don’t respond with a catastrophe but be genuine in an area for growth. Be authentic in your understanding. This is an area for development and the key’s to disclose what steps you’re taking to overcome your weakness. A great example may be a weakness of public speaking. Knowing this is a weakness, a way to overcome this and professionally develop may be enrolling in Toastmasters.


An immediate way to determine whether or not your interview responses appear genuine is to practice and ask for constructive feedback. If it’s not appropriate or affordable to work with a coach, asking a trusted friend or family member for candid feedback’s an alternative method.

It’s also acceptable to ask the hiring manager or Human Resource representative for constructive feedback if you weren’t the successful candidate for the position. They may provide you with some beneficial guidance on your responses, or you may find out you interviewed wonderfully and the reason they went with a different choice.

Choose how you want to present yourself

While the “Professional Interviewer” approach may seem enticing, as it takes the guesswork out of interview responses, I encourage you to thoroughly prepare for the interview. Take time to think through challenging questions and situations.

Respond to the interview questions authentically and with action steps that you’re taking to better yourself personally and professionally. What may appear to be a bit of grunt work on the front end, will actually benefit you in the long run.

Photo Credit: Charles Deluvio,