Q. Can you explain “stress interviewing?” Is it ever warranted?

A Stress interviewing is an old, discredited interviewing technique where the interviewer purposely puts the candidate under stress during the interview, to see how they react.

It’s stupid and mean and doesn’t work. It pushes talented candidates away. Why would they put up with abuse during the interview?

They wouldn’t, of course. They (and you) have choices.

In a stress interview, you might throw questions at the candidate in a rapid-fire manner or question everything they say, challenging even basic assertions.

You might question their qualifications. You might throw hard (or even impossible) case studies at them to make them sweat.

Do you want to work with people who would purposely upset you and stress you out when they should be trying to recruit you?

There are a lot of awful “leadership” ideas from forty or fifty years ago still floating around.

Run away from any organization that misuses your valuable time and attention.

If you are an HR person or recruiter whose management team (or an individual manager) thinks they might like to try stress interviewing, refer them to this column.

Your employer brand is everything. No organization can afford to antagonize talent – the only thing that powers your success!