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I saw a lot of you talking about this on the TL yesterday. Will be doing a #thread shortly on the psychological aspects of 'Stress interviews'
The first thing that came to mind when I read this were the two interviews I've given for my PhD. Both times I came out feeling completely undeserving of doing one, and I cleared both.
Both panels had nothing good to say about the proposal I had submitted and no one acknowledged that I had worked five years in the field, doing a six day, 70 hour week for most part and still managed to turn in an application and clear an entrance exam
I had to seek therapy to believe that I still had it in me to pursue academia again. Going into the interview and hearing stuff like 'We are very concerned about the standard of teaching of your programme if this is the quality of your proposal' hit like a bag of bricks
That I was applying to the same Uni where I did my master's and where I worked at the time made that comment even worse

Imagine a professor who in this case is a panelist but otherwise is a colleague saying that about your skills. Would they ever take you seriously?
When i came out and told my prospective guide that this was the response, I was told that that was par for the course and it left me bamboozled.

I was paying to pursue a research degree for which the institute isn't going to give me a rupee, and yet this was what they did
I remember once a friend was terrified of an internal job interview at their office as this was often the place where people were put down so bad that they not only felt like they had no chance in hell of getting the post + felt they were barely getting by at their current post.
I remember them giving it back to the panel saying that an interview panel's job is to view everyone as a potential hire not assume that everyone is garbage until proven otherwise, and that just made so much sense to me
The HR programme at TISS back when I applied to the same Uni for my master's was known for its 'Stress interview'.

You could have a 30 min interview or a 2 min one. It was random, and almost uniformly humiliating.

Clearing it was lauded as some big life achievement
Another instance that comes to mind is when my former employer had an internal promotion interview, and I their supervisor, asked them to apply, though they were really reluctant to do so. They were torn to shreds and on the verge of quitting despite being seniormost in the
Why interview panels think insulting someone who took the time out to apply for a job, and travel to come see you at their expense deserve to be insulted is beyond me.
Though I am usually the stern faced one in the interview panel, all interviews are paused if someone breaks down
I've called people back for a second round on another day if their CVs indicated they had the right expect but the occasion got to them, and almost always they did better the second time.

The only thing a stress interview reveals is how your bosses are likely to talk to you IRL
Exercises that simulate situations that your employees have to face on a daily basis are a great way to assess whether they'll be able to deliver on your expectations.

All that a stress interview communicates from an employee's point of view is that THIS is what to expect daily
Job interviews are not Roadies auditions FFS
IMO, if you feel someone's application is so far off the mark, you shouldn't even be calling them in person in the first place.
It's much less damaging to hear 'We appreciate your interest in our org but we cannot proceed with your application' on mail than being shredded IRL
Bad experiences in job interviews can set people back for weeks, or months. They can reinforce feelings of worthlessness (which capitalism piles on to anyone who doesn't have a job). It can not only be retraumatizing, but it can be a fresh trauma in itself
And just like a good therapy session, being treated respectfully by an interview panel can help one believe, even it's for just a little while, that they don't suck.
So please, be kind. Even if someone doesn't meet your lofty standards, they don't deserve to be made to feel like they are unemployable.
Acknowledge the power you wield in such a situation and use it to build people up!
If you've been made to feel small by an interview panel, know that any place that makes you feel that way isn't one where you need to be at anyway. You're allowed to have a bad interview and not have your dignity stripped of you. That is never okay!
As always, if you feel like talking more about this DMs are open!

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