As innocent as it may seem, seating can determine the entire atmosphere of an interview. Round tables and identical chairs create a positive feeling, but if the recruiter sits in an executive armchair and asks you to sit on a regular one, this establishes a distance. It also increases the hierarchic difference between the recruiter and yourself.

Room layout

Recruiters can arrange a room in various ways, depending on the atmosphere they wish to create. If the recruiter combines adversarial seating with a stress panel interview, he or she will want to test your nerves.

If you are prepared for this and you know the strategy behind this thinking, you'll be able to keep a cool head.


Sitting next to each other at an angle of about 45° creates a collaborative feeling. The recruiter wants you to be open and relaxed during the interview.


Sitting on the opposite side of the recruiter's desk, might give you a feeling of inferiority, especially if the desk is not cleared and the computer is still switched on.


Panel interviews can be a very intimidating experience. If the panel members do not introduce themselves, introduce yourself and shake everybody's hand. This is a polite way to make the atmosphere a bit more open and relaxed.