Tuesday April 3, 2012

Conversational Interviews and Interrogations

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Most people have the wrong concept of job interviews. They falsely believe that a job interview is an event where the interviewers ask all the questions and the applicant only provides answers. This type of event is not an interview. It is an interrogation. During an interrogation, one person asks the questions while the other person provides responses. Do you really think people get hired by going on interrogations? I don't think so.

Think back to your best interview experience, and you'll discover that your meeting was a two-way conversation. The interviewer asked you questions; you thoughtfully responded and then asked your own questions. The interview flowed effortlessly as two professional peers exchanged information and work perspectives. It felt like you were in a groove, spontaneous, and in the zone where everything came easily and comfortably. You were confident and felt like the job was yours for the taking.

This Podcast describes how to facilitate that kind of interview every time. Well, maybe not every time, but most of the time. If your interviewer is a real jerk, you can only do so much. How to deal with jerks in the interview process is covered in a separate Podcast. Most interviewers are wonderful, nice people, but there are a few assholes who are real jerks trying to hide their own insecurity.

The Typical Job Interview

Let's imagine we are observing a typical job interview where the candidate does not ask questions. The interviewer begins by saying, "Tell me about yourself." The applicant provides an excellent response with a 60-second overview of his/her skills that relates directly to the position. After the response, the applicant sits quietly waiting for the next question. The interviewer asks the next question which is followed by a nice response from the applicant and then more silence. This one-way interrogation ritual continues for 40 minutes. The last 5 minutes of the interview are reserved for applicant questions. The interviewer begins this phase by asking, "Do you have any questions?" The candidate says, "No, I have no questions at this time. You have done an excellent job of telling me about the position and the company." Read the full article