Employers hire people to make their jobs easier and their companies more effective.
Interviewing is hard. First, you don’t do it very often. Second, you are talking to a company and people you know very little about.
The key to an effective interview is to concentrate your answers on the most important aspects of the job. If they have not identified those in their ad, or during phone calls, ask them early in the interview. It can be as simple as asking: ‘What are the three most important contributions you expect from this position in the next 6 months.?’
When you are asked you about your previous experience, be sure your answer highlights your accomplishments in the 3 areas they have indicated are most important.
When asked about difficult situations you have handled, give them examples in the three areas they have indicated are the most important to them.
When you are asked about your most significant accomplishments answer with examples that address their three key aspects of the job.
Should the person interviewing you get off track, bring them back on topic by addressing one of the areas.
Yes, you want to figure out if you are interested in the company. More important still is whether they are interested in you.
Even if you decide you are not interested in the job 5 minutes into the interview, you still want to get a job offer. Why? You may not want the job you are interviewing for, but you may still be interested in the company. If you are no longer interested in the company you still want them to be interested in you. Prospective employers talk to each other. You never know when they can refer you to a great job.
Let’s start a dialogue on recruiting. What’s the toughest interview question you have fielded? How did you answer it? Did you get the job offer?