We have all been interviewed before. It is how you get a job. After submitting your resume, you must run the interview gauntlet, answering all manner of questions about yourself. Preparing for an interview can be stressful and challenging. What will they ask? How should you answer? If you have ever had to interview someone yourself, you already have a good idea. If you have not, then looking at the process from the interviewer’s standpoint might give you some insight. Let’s look at what goes into conducting an interview from the interviewer’s perspective and what that means for you. Take some time to think about these interviewing tips and put yourself in the position as if you were practicing for an interview.
Interviewer Tip: The interview is not a dialogue. The idea is to get the candidate to do all the talking, giving you a chance to evaluate him or her. A few pleasantries are fine but then move on to your list of planned questions. Don’t disclose a lot of information about yourself in order to get the candidate to talk. Seem interested, but keep you remarks short and brief and keep them talking.
Your Take: No matter how nice they seem of how conversational they appear, they are there to do a job – screen applicants. Answer the questions, be personable but never mistake their interest for genuine friendship. They are trying to draw you out, but now is not a great time to tell them deep family secrets.
Interviewer Tip: Avoid questions that can be answered with just a yes or no. Instead, phrase questions so they begin with “why,” “how,” “where,” “what kind of …” to get a more in depth response.
Your Take: Be prepared to answer in detail. If asked why you are leaving your present company, be prepared to explain.
Interviewer Tip: No matter how tempting it may be, ask only one question at a time. Asking more than one will, more than likely, result in the candidate answering only the first or last question.
Your Take: Using this approach means the interviewer is careful and methodical. Gage your answers to each question with comparable care.
Interviewer Tip: Don’t let periods of silence fluster you. Just because the interviewee is pausing to consider his answer does not mean you should prod him along unnecessarily. Take the time to jot a few notes of your own, write down a new question that has come to mind. Give them time to prepare the appropriate response to your question.
Your Take: Don’t rush your response. If you need a moment to consider your response, take it. Your answer will be better than if you just spew whatever comes to mind and you will make a better impression. If the interviewer does prod you along without allowing you to answer, go back to it later by saying,” I’ve been thinking about what you asked and the answer is…”. That way there are no strings left untied and the interviewer will know you are a deep thinker and thorough.