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Interviews are Two-way Propositions

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People join companies and leave supervisors. If there is an issue between the boss and an employee, it can be a miserable experience that even the best job, company or salary won't fix. Here are some tips. 

During the interview process, ask powerful questions:

  • What is the boss' management style?
  • Does he/she welcome questions and requests for guidance?
  • Would he prefer that employees figure things out on their own?
  • How is work assigned?
  • What role is assumed with the work group and with each of the people in the group?

One of the most powerful questions for a full-time position is: “How did this position come to be open?” Depending on the honesty of the interviewer, you can find out if it is a new role, if someone was promoted into another role and left this position, what he or she learned in this position, or if the previous person was fired. The response to this question should provide additional insight that can be used during the decision-making process.

If you have the opportunity, get the scoop to learn the unspoken expectations of the job. Talk to people in the group. Make sure you get a clear picture of the daily responsibilities of this job and the skills required to be successful in it. Although people may not directly give information if there are issues, watch their body language and listen to what "isn't said."

Make sure to be yourself (within limits). Much of working for the “right company” is about the “right FIT.” Most people think working for a company is only about if the job is a good job. The truth is there are things that impact fit that most don’t understand. Most behavioral interviews focus on the applicant’s skills and experiences — their capabilities to do the job. Although these are important aspects of the interview, another crucial factor is the person’s likes and dislikes as they relate to the job, organization or the location. Being yourself will help the company determine what is available in the job and the organization to keep you satisfied, motivated and engaged.

Understand the culture. Look around the reception area, the office and the cubicles if you visit the company’s site. Are the employees talking and smiling, or is it completely silent? Think about the environment you would best thrive in.

Once the interview is over, reflect. Evaluate the interview. Pay attention to your gut. Intuition is inside of each of us for a reason.

Interviews are a two-way proposition: Interview the companies as they interview you. Ask yourself: Would you hire your interviewers to work with you?

Sherri Cook

Sherri Cook is a career advisor at the Naveen Jindal School of Management and a career coach in her spare time. She has over 20 years of college recruiting experience and over 30 years experience in the oil and gas industry. Read more articles

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