What Your Interviewer’s Seating Arrangement Is TellingYou…
You walk into the interview
, and by god, this time they’ve given you choices!
There is not onechair to sit at but a whole table of them! There are eveninterviewing techniques to deal with
situations like this so you are less likely to have a panic attack when your new boss gives youyour first decision to make. After all, seating positions have a lot more psychological influenceon social dynamics than you might think.
Don’t go i
nto the office and start playing musicalchairs before you understand the atmosphere your decisions will create.Here are 6 ways for you to make the most out of your seating options:
The Una-Bomber Position
This is how you don’t want to sit.
Ted Kaczynski, the Una-Bomber, used to do this in libraries
while planning out his acts of “justice.”
Hood pulled over his head, his back to intruders, ahunched withdrawn position turning all would-be conversations away. Not really conducive toanswering tough interview questions, or making friends for that matter.If your potential employers
leave you in a room alone, you’d be better off putting on a dunce capand taking a stool to the corner than doing this (at least you’d g
et a laugh). Turning away fromeveryone who enters and withdrawing into your own little world sends the message that you
don’t want to talk or have something to hide.
If you are left to sit alone, sit on the side of the
table where you’ll face people as
they enter or turn your chair around.
The I’ll Give You Back Your Son Alive For $1,000,000 Position
Two opponents sit across from each other. Dead eyes locked. Faces set firm. Unless
the World Series of Poker or negotiating a ransom, it just feels wrong, even if it is often thenorm.
If you have a choice, don’t choose to sit like this in an interview.
People meeting in this positionare a lot more likely to start debating or arguing. It creates an air of competition, and the table
dividing the “debaters” makes it easier to hold fast to an opinion because of the psychological
attachment to the table as a protective divider. You might find yourself raising an uproar overcompany protocol before you even fill out your W-2.This type of head to head positioning is confrontational and imitates animals in the wild squaringoff for a brutal bout of head-butting.
It’s our nature to get aggressive in this situations—
thin howdogs flip out if you stare at them too long. Save the negotiation position for when someonereally does steal your firstborn.We can understand your frustration though, because some power-hungry subordinates get their jollies creating this kind of atmosphere. In one experiment, 76% of senior managers were shown