Job Interviews – They Go Both Ways
Job interviews are two-way streets. If you’re not keeping that in mind, then you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. It’s been the season for job interviews for several years now, and based on the number of individuals unemployed, perhaps many of us aren’t being successful during the interview. Part of our success hinges on recognizing the two-way street of the job interview.
Job interviews should seek to find a good match for both parties.
Let’s look at the two directions that a job interview should go.
One Side of the Street
It should come as no surprise that a job interview serves to help the employer get to know you as a candidate who is seeking the job. It’s how they tell the wheat from the chaff. When I conducted interviews, I put the candidate through what I called “the cheese grater” to see what came out on the other end…and to see how resistant the candidate was to the entire “grating” process.
One of the things I always looked for was the candidate’s interest in the job, the company, and me as their manager. That’s their part of the two-way street.
The Other Side of the Street
What most job candidates overlook in an interview is finding out more about the job, the company, the work environment and corporate culture. The more interest that is expressed in these areas, the more serious an employer has to take you as a candidate. Who wants to hire someone that isn’t enthusiastic about being hired? And, I don’t mean eager to have a job, but eager to have the opportunity being offered.
Once when interviewing a candidate, I sensed strongly that one of his main interests was whether the company was going to pay to move his twenty-something thousand pounds of household goods to his new home office, almost as if he already had the job. In my mind, his main focus most certainly wasn’t on the career opportunity we were offering, and so right in the middle of the interview I made up my mind that there was no way I was going to hire the man.
Also, the job you’re seeking has to be a good match for you as an employee over the long haul, not just a good job to have right now. So, you owe it to yourself to make certain that there is a good match, otherwise everyone’s time is wasted.
The Bottom Line
To work out well for both parties, there needs to be a good match between what the employer is looking for and what the job seeker is looking for. When there’s a match, it should be abundantly clear to both parties. When there’s a mismatch, it should also be abundantly clear…that is, if both parties are paying attention. Keep in mind that mismatches usually result in wasted time, money, and a short-lived relationship between the employee and employer.
Clair Schwan has interviewed more than his fair share of potential employees. He’s run into a wide range of candidates, none of whom were hired unless they were a good match for the company and a good match for the individual.