Interviews are a play of strategy. Employer and potential-hire rally questions and answers trying to best the other with the element of surprise. It’s the interviewer designing the question to test the interviewee’s spontaneous critical thinking and personality under stress. It’s the interviewee practicing the most creative answer of where he or she will be in 10 years. But at the end of the day, it comes down to more than what either party says, it’s the flow of the conversation.
In a candid style, Jeff Harden of Inc. Magazine outlines ‘9 Things Every Interviewer Wishes You Knew’
- I want you to be likeable.
- I don’t want you to immediately say you want the job.
- I want you to stand out…
- …but not for being negative.
- I want you to ask a lot of questions about what really matters to you…
- …but only if the majority of those questions relate to real work.
- I love when you bring a ‘project.’
- At the end I want you to ask for the job…and I want to know why.
- I want you to follow up…especially if it’s genuine.
Sounds intense…but don’t let it scare you. Our job at IntuuChina is to interview clients for the purpose of getting them interviews, so we’re quite used to this beast.
We really enjoyed his piece and wanted to share it with you (find the full text here http://linkd.in/1lmZKVC). Two things that resonated most with us was the need to have made the job application personal and difference between being the ‘impressive’ and the ‘polite’ candidate.
For the first, Harden repeats that applicants should be knowledgeable of the company to the extent that they could ask specific questions about the role and company. He specifies that these questions are not about benefits or hours but rather, company goals, manager expectations and how you will be evaluated. Additionally, he says the best candidates will be able to suggest a new company project that utilizes their past work skills. Also, he notes that interviewees should not immediately state that they want the job—he says eagerness can be mistaken for flippancy. Hardin suggests asserting your desire for the job at the end of the interview and in the follow-up
Second, Harden details that candidates who have unique personalities will come to be known by those traits during the interview process. He says that an interviewee’s impression lasts longer than a CV and candidates should be personable. Additionally, the post-interview follow-up is also critically important but the generic ‘Please advise if you need more information’ message is not going to cut it. Referencing conversation points from the interview shows your engagement in the process and commitment ability.