Question Proposed on LinkedIn: How to Interview the Interviewer?

Others’ Responses:

– Be yourself. You should be looking for the right fit during an interview just as companies are when they look at us as candidates. That’s why it’s vital to be yourself at the interview, within limits, of course. You don’t need to talk about how much you partied last night, but it’s OK to show your sense of humor or discuss hobbies.

– Get the scoop on the job. A job description does not tell all. In fact, many times people who do not work in the same department or field write the descriptions, which may be inaccurate. You may wind up interviewing for a role completely different than the one advertised — and it may be something you’re not interested in. During the interview, make sure you get a clear picture of your daily responsibilities and the skills required to be successful in the job.

– Understand the culture. Look around the office, and observe what is going on. Is it an open office space with cubicles? Is there a lot of chatter, or is it completely silent? Think about what environment you perform best in. Perhaps you work better with background noise and are an outgoing person who likes a lively office. Or you might prefer quiet.You may receive strong signals during an interview about the culture or people who work there. A candidate was once put in a difficult position when two interviewers suddenly made a joke about her current employer out of the blue. This turned her off from the organization.

– Ask powerful questions. One of the most telling questions you can ask is: “How did this position come to be open?” If the interviewer is honest, you will find out if the role is new, or if someone left or was fired. It should give you some insight into what you’re up against and what kinds of expectations the employer may have of you if you are hired.Another useful question is: “What is the most positive part of working here, and what would you change if you could?” The answer to this should help you decide whether you’d be happy there or not.

– Evaluate the interview overall. You might have a great experience talking to your interviewers and feel like there was good chemistry. Then they may surprise you with an awkward question or request. One candidate was unexpectedly given a timed test of 30 items to demonstrate his Excel expertise. He was disappointed, because he felt it was unrealistic to assume a candidate knew uncommon Excel functions.

My Response:

– Don’t show desperation. You’re a person too, even if they have the upper-hand. Sell your credentials, sell your qualifications, and be yourself. Ask educated questions at the end of the interview. (i.e., do your research on the company and don’t ask things that you can easily find on the website…employers hate that). Bring everything you can to the interview and ace that puppy. If you are mentally prepared, understand and deliver how you can be effective in the role, and are on top of your game even when you’re in the parking lot, you can’t go wrong.

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