Sometimes it’s hard to remember that you are interviewing your prospective employer as much as they are interviewing you. You can feel so anxious that you’ll do anything to get the job. And then it’s not until after the new job honeymoon that you realize it’s not a good relationship.
It used to seem too simple. How many of us can remember back to our very first interview? Possibly it was for a newspaper route or working at a restaurant. If you were like me, I was excited to go inside the restaurant, sit down with the manager, answer a few questions, and presto…I had the job. Not much to it right? That was back in the day when I didn’t have much awareness of what was really happening during the interview.
Preparing for an important interview
We can read numerous articles that instruct us on how best to prepare for an important interview. You may look up various interviewing techniques so that you are prepared for the latest and greatest HR interviewing trends. For instance, behavioral questioning allows a company to create a picture of how you have responded to certain situations in the past. You may go online and learn everything you can about the company for which you are interviewing. Also, you could call or email someone that currently works there and ask her/him a few questions.
While all of these considerations are marvelous, I think there are a few things that can get us into trouble after the interview. Interviewing is a two way street – you are seeing if they fit you as much as they are seeing if you fit them.
- First, let’s say that the interview is over and you landed the job. As we might say, the honeymoon is over and either the company culture is now truly apparent and different from what you had imagined, or you show up as your true self and the company is wondering where is the person that they interviewed. You are there now. You are locked in to give it the good ole college try. You wonder: how did this happen?
- OR, second, you have completed the interview and you did not land the job. You wonder what could have gone better…maybe you said too much or not enough.
Essential tips to keep in mind during the interview:
- Be who you really are – it’s all you have and it’s who they really want.
- Honestly answer the questions. You want to be your authentic self during an interview because, after all, that is who they think they are hiring. If they hire you for who you really are in the interview and for what you can bring the company, they won’t be disappointed when they have made their choice. It will be the right one for the company culture, and you’ll be happier in the long run.
- Always remember that you are interviewing the company as well. Do you think the culture is one that you want to visit everyday? Is this where you really want to place your talent, time and energy?
- Have your questions prepared at the end of the interview. Interviewers want to know if you are curious. They want to see that you have given their company great consideration and that you have prepared.
- Know your breaking points. Life is too short to work for a company that does not give you satisfaction and a place where you want to go to every day.
Interviewing is a two-way street. Give what you are expecting from the company that is interviewing you. Be honest, ask questions, and take time to know what it is that you really are seeking. Both sides get to choose and you want it to be the right fit
written by Rev. Robin A. Miller, Ph. D.