For many people on the job market, the Art of Interviewing seems like a mystery.
That’s why I decided to demystify it a bit by offering a few clues that will
hopefully put the whole experience into perspective. I’ll start by looking at a
few common words that hold within them a hidden clues about what it means to join
an organization. Keeping these words in mind will help both recruiters and the
candidates they are working with.
If you look at the roots for the business terms company and corporation, you
find a common theme. “Company” shares its root with the word for companion,
while “corporation” essentially means to unify in one body. At its simplest,
the message that these words intend to convey is one of coming together. What
complicates things is the purpose for which the members come together. For
example, in most cases it’s a lot easier to come together for a party than it
is to come together for something like jury duty. Now let’s apply this idea to
When most people find themselves in the job market, their first thought is to
get another job as soon as possible. They’ll think about what it means to be
a part of the company later. Little do they know that this mentality is actually
doing them a lot more harm than good. Without intending to, they could be sending
out a message to recruiters and their potential employers that more or less says,
“You are just an obstacle between me and my money.” As recruiters, it’s in our
best interest to help candidates put their best foot forward and remind them of
what companies are looking for.
What they are forgetting is the fact that the company has needs too. That’s why
they hired recruiters. This is important to remind candidates whenever they are
brought in for an interview, and especially so in this economy. Companies are not
sitting around saying, “Wow! What are we going to do with all this money? Let’s
find someone who needs it and give it to them for eight hours of their time a day.”
And this takes us to the second word clue — the word hire.
To hire means, “to engage the services of one or more individuals in exchange for
compensation.” This means that the hiring company, while conscious that candidates
have certain salary requirements for their services, puts the actual service part
first. That means that recruiters and candidates should too. When interviewing, one
should always keep in mind that the company is speaking with people because they
believe that they could offer a potential solution to their challenges.
This understanding is the platform upon which the relationship with a company
begins and is sustained. And ultimately, it is the cardinal rule for interview
Articles about how to navigate through an interview are in no short supply,
but without following this first rule candidates are reducing their chances
The following tips, when combined with the above understanding, will enhance
the interview experience for candidates and ideally reduce the interval
between interviews and making a placement. Advise candidates to:
Study the website and job description and write down any questions that arise.
During the interview, listen for the needs of the company and be ready to discuss
how they can offer a solution.
Ask the question, “What has been your greatest difficulty filling this position?”
Ask for a business card(s) from the person/people interviewing them and try to
agree on an appropriate timeframe for following up.
Offer to open their network to the organization.
Helping our candidates to cultivate these habits benefits all parties involved.
Recruiters are relationship managers and solutions brokers by trade. So doesn’t
it make sense to get potential employees and employers on the same page?