Friday, September 30, 2011

Interviewing the interviewer: your resume

Don't forget that your role in an interview includes interviewing the company and the manager in front of you. You don't need to be a passive participant in this process.

If you don't ask questions, you will walk away from the interview without a solid idea of what you might be getting into if you accept the position. This is especially important for people who are coming out of toxic work environments, people who feel strongly about the way they are managed and people who are marginally qualified for the position (but who got an interview, obviously).

I have a great many questions to share with job candidates, but since I like to keep these posts short, I will give them to you in small sets. Today's question for the interviewee is an opening question. You can ask this question before they ask you to tell them about yourself. Feel free to use it at any other appropriate moment throughout the interview.

Those of you who are squeamish or shy may want to cover your eyes for the rest of this post. I know there are folks out there who think being bold is a character flaw or just can't seem to stick their necks out and this question may be too far out of your comfort zone. If you can't do it, don't. That's OK.

But if you are fully confident in yourself and prepared to open a conversation about your skills and their company, give this question a shot and watch it work.

"What was it about my resume that made me a candidate for this interview?"

As always, feel free to massage the wording in a way that's comfortable for you. This question may get the interviewer to reveal something about the job opening you didn't already know. It may also give you an opening to delve deeper into your skill set to illustrate the breadth or depth of knowledge your resume only touches on. You may also have an opportunity to point out similar skills that refer to their job opening's requirements. Lastly, you may even learn something about the hiring manager such as where they went to school, mutual friends, or values such as, "I like that you're an Eagle Scout and thought I should talk to you."

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That is probably the best interview advice I have have ever received!!! ~Neal C.

I wanted to talk to you again before this interview because you really geek interview tips. ~Chad T.

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