A lot have been written already about it, yet we find interviewers and interviewees grumble about the experience. It’s not uncommon to notice that a candidate comes unprepared in spite of thousands of tips available freely. Having spent the better part of my life in recruitment, I have the opportunity of watching this from the close quarters. Hence, I thought, it would be good to reflect upon these experiences.
Job interviews are undoubtedly stressful. The candidate wants to shine at it and is subconsciously competing against many others. As human beings are, each person looks at the same event differently. However, some aspects remain the same.
Each person is a bundle of competitiveness and co-operation; and similarly, each employer looks for both aspects at the same time. One wins the interview challenge when the mix of the two extreme qualities in the individual matches well with the idea of the employer. If the candidate is able to read the signals well and empathises with the employer, it is easy to show the right balance between the two sides. At times, demonstrating assertive behaviour could be read by the employer as arrogance; and some time, showing humility could be interpreted by the employer to be low confidence. Hence, it is empathy that can help someone win the challenge. One can prepare before-hand to read and understand about the organization culture; watch videos and interviews of its senior people; study about the environment in which the employer operates. Penning down a few ideas about possible ways of accomplishing certain objectives could be a good thing to do. And listing down one’s past accomplishments and experiences which might be valuable for the employer will help one describe them with more elan than doing an extempore.
Too much talent is not a boon always for a team. It has been proven several times. Success of an organization depends upon the harmony of working together and complimenting one another. So, it’s equally important to know who the co-workers are like and what the playground is likely to be. Winning the job interview and jumping the ship might be exciting for the ones who love adventures. In some cases, better rewards or a big title or convenient place of work could be attractive for the person to jump the ship. In either case, the gratification could be temporary. Hence, it’s important for the candidate to figure out the real job and the real context. It is critical that the talent one has gets to face realistic challenges and appropriate rewards. This is a tough call to make because it’s hardly objective. However, it is better to consider these aspects and prepare a set of questions before one goes for the job interview.
Last but not the least, self-confidence is critical. For example, asking the prospective employer to give a comparative picture of what they are looking for vis-a-vis what they found in your candidature is a bold step. One can raise such a question only when one is self-confident and keen on the job. This kind of a conversation can make a huge positive impact in the conversation. Similarly, following up on some of the discussion points is another way of demonstrating your capability and keenness for the job.
To summarise, it’s empathy, curiosity and confidence!