I've had two recent interviews for different positions where the interviewer ended with collegial talk, complimenting my resume (thanks, MT!) and communication skills ... then complaining about other candidates in the pool. One talked about others not living up to their resume or having loud distractions in a Skype call; the other talked about candidates not following directions or having weak writing.

First question: Is this a new test to see how the interviewee will respond, to get them comfortable and see if they'll join in?

Second question: What's the best way for an interviewee to respond? (Please feel free to move this thread to the Career Management Forum if that's more appropriate.)

Kevin1's picture

Hi there,

It is difficult to tell if the question is a deliberate test or not.  One thing is certain though, you are always being evaluated.  I would avoid making any comments, especially judgements about other candidates.

A response like this might be ok.  'I try to do the best I can with my own preparations.'  if pressed, i might add 'I prefer not to comment on situations I was not present for, or on candidates I've not met'

What do others think?


ashdenver's picture

I'm with Kevin - keep your own commentary focused on yourself.

That said, I don't think it was necessarily a test so much as a poor, weak or inexperienced interviewer. They might have been attempting to showcase how much better you did in the interview than other candidates. I'm not sure why they would want to do that but that'd be my guess.

gehrhorn's picture
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  1. Probably not. Probably someone who didn't know any better complaining about candidates.
  2. Possibly no response needed. If a response is required I would say, "I spent a lot of time preparring for this interview. It's important to me that I do my very best."
productivemarketer's picture

I appreciate your insight. This is helpful!

AllBusiness's picture

In an interview you are always being scrutinized. I agree with previous commenters that you keep it positive and upbeat; never ever be drawn into criticism.  


ProcReg's picture

Test or not, I saw this happen where the interviewer bashed other candidates. Turned out, he had anger management issues and I quit after six months. Run.