If you’re being interviewed for a job, who should be doing most of the talking? Hint: it’s not you.
People wonder what I mean; after all, an interview is meant to find out what candidate will best fit a company or organization. Neither shoes nor the person will look good if someone wears one high heel and one sneaker. They need to complement each other. As the interviewee, it’s vital to have a clue what you’d be getting involved with. You will invest more into your employer than visa versa. A full-time employee physically gives 40 plus hours weekly to a job, there’s a big learning curve, refiguring your schedule, and developing new relationships with many people. You’ll often spend numerous hours thinking of them outside of work and represent them 24/7. On the flip side, most companies with more than a few people can function with or without even the best employee. If someone is hired and doesn’t fit well, their employer can fire them or they can quit. It’s normally a hiccup to an organization, but a life changer to an employee.
In a job interview, the hiring entity should be doing about 80% of the talking, via questions and explanations of duties, benefits, atmosphere, values, and needs. When you leave an interview, ensure you have a feel for both the job and organization.
In a typical interview, the candidate normally responds to interview questions. At the end of the interview, after being asked the inevitable, “do you have any questions for us?” they often say “no.” It may sound weird, but this tells interviewers the candidate doesn’t care about them—just getting a job.
A better way—ask questions throughout; don’t interrogate them but use their questions to ask your own, and find out their employee expectations, work environment, products, company challenges, missions, values, and what they are looking at for the future.
Look for future blog posts on an expansion of this topic. For now, if you are going into an interview, keep the following percentage in your brain—80% them, 20% me. If you’re thinking this and realize you’re talking a lot more than that, take time to ask a question.
Good luck job searching.
Beth Husom, GCDF