The interview process is where the job hunt game can be won or lost at times. We can’t cover everything about interviewing in one posting so we will start by looking at the process from the employer perspective. Often what goes on behind the scenes in a company is different than you might expect. What is the interviewer or staffing representative looking for? How are they trained to conduct an interview?
One of the jobs of the representative is to look out for “problem applicants.” These include:
• The Non-Stop Talker
• The Non-Talker
• The Smooth Talker
• The Hostile Applicant
• The Evasive Applicant
• The Nervous Applicant
The staffing representative is trained to know the company well and be a good judge of character. In other words, if they hire turkeys, their staffing representative days are numbered! The above characteristics won’t necessarily label you a turkey, but they are “red flags” to any interviewer that a problem could exist.
The Non-Stop Talker: What more do we need to say about this? One critical point should be noted; if you are doing all the talking, then the interviewer has a poor chance of getting all the necessary information about you that he/she needs and at some point may give up.
The Non-Talker: This is just as bad. It is very frustrating for an interviewer to try and drag answers out of an applicant in order to complete a successful interview. These interviews have a tendency to be very short with the staffing representative wondering why you came to interview in the first place.
The Smooth Talker: No one is that good! The key here is to be you. The emphasis in companies today, since most are downsizing and have fewer employees, is to go for production, not in being “smooth.” Companies are looking for employees that are more concerned about getting the job done.
The Hostile Applicant: This is probably not news to you. Again, with companies reorganizing, this forces employees to work more with each other in groups. If you are angry at your last boss or company or are carrying a chip on your shoulder, the message to the interviewer is that you will probably behave the same way in their company.
The Evasive Applicant: Hit the hard question head on! Don’t play word games in the interview trying to search for “the right answer.” Many times an interviewer is trying to find out if you can make a tough decision or face a rough issue. Some questions are designed to find out what you are made of rather than if you know the right answers. Have some backbone in the interview.
The Nervous Applicant: If you are nervous, the interviewer is going to be nervous. This will impact how he/she conducts the interview. One of your jobs as an applicant is to make the interviewer comfortable with you. Get the interview on a level where you can exchange ideas as professionals. The interview becomes more of a directed conversation than an interview. It is not unusual for an applicant to be selected because of their ability to establish quick relationships with employees during this brief interviewing visit.
Avoid these characteristics and you’ll have a strong chance at winning the interview part of your job hunt!