How To Interview the Interviewer
Relationships and job interviewing are exactly alike. Both require two-way communication. Interviewing for a job should follow the same rules as getting to know that hot guy/girl across a crowded room—it usually begins with, “Hi. My name is….” And follows with polite questions and conversation. Or, depending upon your technique, “Come here often?”
I don’t recommend the latter.
“The chief ends of a conversation are to inform or to be informed, to please or to persuade.” – Ben Franklin
Identify what is important to you. Figure out what you need to be successful on a job. If you work best in a quiet, contained, library-esque environment, you won’t want to work the concessions at Peter Piper Pizza. The Wise Job Search website offers an extensive list of questions to ponder before and during your job interview. Here are my favorites:
- What kind of work environment suits you the best?
- What management style enables you to do your best work?
- Do you prefer a role with a lot of contact with others, or one where you work on your own?
- Are you looking for an opportunity to be creative, or work within established guidelines?
- How far are you willing to commute to work each day?
Never go passively into a job interview. From the moment you arrive at the interview location, begin your interview process. Make note of the surrounding area. Here are things to consider:
- When you go into the building, what environment is presented?
- Is it busy, noisy, friendly, comfortable, uptight?
- How are you greeted?
- Does the one welcoming you present as professional or friendly? Or, does the greeting committee look like they wish to be anywhere but there?
- How long was your wait?
Ask questions, ask questions, ask questions! Tailor your questions to reflect what is most important to you. People, all people, are naturally charmed when asked about themselves and what they do, and employers want applicants to ask questions. Asking questions shows interest in the company and culture, and demonstrates your interest in finding the right fit, too. Of course, you’ll need to be tactful and diplomatic when asking your questions. No sense in alienating your prospective employer. Be sure to ask questions that are open-ended, such as:
- Describe the group I would be working with?
- Where do you see someone successful in this role going next?
- What personality characteristics tend to be most rewarded in this organization?
- Would you say this is a very structured environment or not… can you give me examples?
- What do you enjoy most about working here?
- Tell me about your own path in the company.
Being yourself, being involved, and being nosy during interviews sets you apart from other candidates by demonstrating that you are thoughtful and a ready participant in the interview process. In addition, you will find the answers you need to make the best employment decisions. Interviewing your interviewer opens two-way communication and puts you in the position, as Ben Franklin said, “To inform or to be informed, to please or to persuade.”
What kinds of questions do you ask in interviews?