Turning the table at interviews.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

It strikes me that most candidates for jobs feel under pressure to perform at interview and should be prepared to answer a number of challenging questions. In addition, they may well have to carry out a presentation to prove they have the ability to carry out the job in question. Now, I have no problem with any of that, and any serious job hunter will be more than happy to put in the required time to prepare.

What I do find strange is that candidates generally don't feel that they can ask interviewers to "sell" the company and the role to them. A successful interview will be one where it’s a two way process and each party sells to each other.

I tell all our candidates to be sure they are convinced about the role, the company culture, the sector they are in and most importantly the manager that will ultimately develop them. I think if the interviewer can spend quality time within the process to sell the benefits, then it becomes a fair and equitable meeting, rather than one that can sometimes be an interrogation of the candidate.

It isn't easy to ask questions such as "why should I choose your company over others" or " can you give me examples of how you have developed previous staff", or " tell me about the sector you are in and how it’s due to grow", but I truly believe if you do challenge the interviewer, you will stand out. What do you have to lose? At least you will have all the information you need to make an informed decision if you are offered it.

There are lots of great employers out there in highly successful growth sectors who have brilliant managers who will champion you. Sadly, there are many who don't fit that bill, so it’s up to you to question the hiring managers to ensure you pick the right role.

Interviewers, be prepared to sell the role, candidates, don't be afraid to ask some difficult questions.

A good meeting is when there is two-way communication and an interview is arguably one of the most important meetings any of us will ever have.