Interview Insights from the HR Files guide, Job interview tips, Online career advice
From the HR Files: Interview Insights
20 Dec 2021
Preparing for a job interview can be a nerve-wracking experience. Of course, the stakes here are high. Your career can change if you are successful; in turn, you may even change your address and/or lifestyle. As you prepare for the interview, it is important to know that you can find the results where you put your attention and focus.
Yes, it is very easy to fall into one of the ‘interview traps’—specifically, the belief that experience is everything for the company looking to hire you. However, if experience was the only contributing factor in landing a job, how would people with no job experience get a chance? From this, we can understand that something else is more important than experience—you need to see the real value in the experience you already have.
What Are Some Common Interview Insights You Need To Know About?
Let us look into some points from both sides of the table (hiring managers and potential candidates) to understand how to handle interviews more effectively:
Always Understand What The Hiring Managers Are Looking For
A hiring manager will only spend a couple of hours with a candidate before making the final hiring decision. This decision will be decided by various factors like the in-person meeting, your resume, the interview round, and your overall impression. Therefore, you need to ensure that all these factors work in your favor to land the job.
When HR offers the job position to you, you need to ensure that, apart from your experience and abilities, you share the same values and goals. As the interview ends, the recruiters would want to know certain pointers, like
- The fact that you want the job.
- You possess the right abilities and skills to get the job done.
- Your personality is right.
- The company wants to work with you.
If you are confident on these points, chances are high that you will receive the offer for the job soon after the interview round.
The Decision-Making Process Has A Lot Of Factors
One of the most important insights for hiring is that the final hiring decision is equally a subjective and objective assessment. Apart from assessing what you have to provide, the recruiter will also decide various other factors like how confident they are to hire your services, the kinds of work they expect out of you, how much they like you overall, etc.
In the case of HR managers, filling a vacant job position can be seen as both an opportunity and a problem. While the manager is anxious to fill the empty job position quickly, a new hire is a substantial risk. Without thinking it through, any decision they make can be quite expensive and will reflect badly on them.
From the above, it is understandable that a lot is going on in the mind of HR; hence, the easier you make things for them, the higher is the chance of you landing the job.
3. Understand What You Write In Your Resume
When you are handing your resume to HR, you need to ensure that you give them a good idea about your credentials and your experience. However, the recruiter may also combine this work experience with their own assumptions, which may or may not be accurate.
Let us take an example. You initially worked for a large organization and later moved to a small startup that eventually failed. Now, you are looking for a new job. As you hand over your resume to the HR manager, two scenarios will follow:
The HR manager will see that this decision was a calculated risk that did not pay off. However, the manager does appreciate your determination and courage. Additionally, they may also appreciate that you have learned about two very different company cultures.
However, the HR manager may also see the fact that you have made an unwise decision right from the beginning, which shows your poor judgment.
Of course, you would not know what is going inside the mind of the HR manager; hence, you must ask them what do they think about your background, work experience, etc. You need to uncover these assumptions and correct them if they are wrong.
4. Get Ready For A Variety Of Questions
Of course, your resume will speak for itself and give the HR manager a substantial idea of your credentials and experience. You need to understand that HR managers today will not ask you the standard interview questions like long-term goals, your strengths, and weaknesses, etc. Depending on the industry and the company, you will be asked various questions.
Understandably, you need to prepare even for the standard questions. It is not recommended to keep fumbling during the interview round. You need to know everything about your employment history. HR managers will ask you why you have decided to leave your previous company. Every answer will determine your future actions.
You need to explain everything objectively and concisely to show your career progressions. The most important tip here is never giving away any negative reasons why you left your previous jobs.
In most interviews today, you will be asked a wide range of questions – for instance, you will be asked some motivational questions to reveal your motivations. A good manager understands the team members’ emotions – their desired career progression, aspects of work they enjoy, etc., so that the balance between the individual’s and the company’s goals is aligned. Ensure that you let them know about your plans to prevent potential misunderstandings.
5. Ask Insightful And Intelligent Questions
Once you are done with the interview rounds, candidates are usually asked if they have any queries or doubts. After the interview round, ask as many questions as you comfortably can to all people present during the interview. These questions can help you distinguish between good and bad opportunities.
Additionally, asking intelligent questions will demonstrate various aspects of you like forethought, preparation, understanding the opportunities/obstacles, etc.; this will make a good first impression, and you will be thought of as an above-average candidate.
Make sure that you are being persistent, not aggressive. Ask questions to all people present during the interview. If the team members contradict one another or are inconsistent, you can consider these red flags.
6. Know More About The Company/Brand
In conjunction with the point mentioned above, it is recommended that you also ask about the company. Suppose the HR manager notices that you are asking about various aspects of the company like the challenges, the perks, etc. In that case, he/she will feel more confident about your abilities and your motivations.
Overall, you need to ensure that you take control of the conversation; if the hiring manager is impressed with you, the more likely it is that you will get hired for the said job position.
While credentials in your resume and social media profiles, like LinkedIn, are essential, trust is something that matters the most. If you are heading out for an interview next, always keep the above-mentioned points in your mind. Your chances of landing the job will increase significantly.
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