Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Don't Let Hiring Managers Intimidate You
I once had a hiring manager tell me that the best job interviews are really "conversations."
While I don't doubt that she was sincere, I don't think those who are searching for a job feel like job interviews are "conversations." They probably feel more like they're interrogations, or parole hearings or something where their entire future hangs in the balance.
So, while the advice is to make an interview as much like a conversation as you can, the truth is that it isn't going to easy. The hiring manager asks you questions like "What kind of spaghetti do you like?" and you're supposed to answer as part of this so-called "conversation" and not sound like you're a third-grader.
One of the ways that you can at least make the job interview seem like a conversation is to ask your own questions. But they have to be the right questions, not something like, "So, if you were on a deserted island, what member of your family would you never miss?"
(That's a question better asked during happy hour with your buddies from spin class.)
It's a good idea to prepare questions beforehand that make sense in the context of a job interview, You want to show your interest in the company, but also show an interest in the hiring manager -- because that's what is going to make this seem like that much desired "conversation". Think about asking:
1. Can you tell me about your own career at this company and what you've enjoyed the most?
2. Can you describe what a typical day would be like in the position for which I'm interviewing?
3. What do you think are the biggest challenges facing this company in the next five to 10 years?
4. Can you show me an organizational chart of this department, including the available position?
5. Can you tell me about how the company invests in individual career development?
Remember -- this interview isn't just about you giving the right answers. It's also about the employer giving you the kind of answers that will make you want to work for the company.