Recently I moved up in position at my job to where I have begun to interview potential new employees who have applied to work for the company. Up until now, I have always been on the other end of this situation as the person going into the interview, but now I have a perspective of the other side as the one doing the interview. It is interesting how different the state of mind is between both sides of a job interview. In this article I will compare these perspectives and share what I have learned from being in both positions.
For most people, going in for a job interview is usually very stressful. You have to prepare a lot for the questions that will be asked and you have to go in knowing as much as possible about the company you are trying to work for. The interview is something that you may have on your mind weeks in advance and something you are entirely focused on. Getting a new job is a big deal and can really change your life depending on if you get it or not so there is a lot at stake.
On the other side of things, the interviewer often has many potential candidates interviewing for the same position. Often they have a lot going on and are just trying to get through the interviews and keep everything organized. For them, each individual interview is not a big deal. Of course they want to find the best person, but they are not stressing over each interview. They are just going though their routine that they do with each potential candidate. This is the biggest difference I found when comparing both sides is that there is so much more pressure and stress on the one being interviewed vs the one doing the interview.
After you have conducted interviews with people trying to get a job, it gives you a perspective of what makes a good impression and will help get you hired vs what qualities are not so great and not likely to get you hired. Here are a few tips I have learned that will help get you the job:
- Show interest. It seems obvious, but those who really show interest in the position are more likely to be hired vs someone who does not really show that they want the job. Make sure you let them know how much you want THIS job, not just any job.
- Ask questions. This is a good way to show that you are in fact interested. I found, I like when they ask questions because then you can tell them more about the job and it shows they are interested in learning more. When they do not have questions, it seems like they don't really care and would rather just end the interview and move on.
- See what they are looking for. Figure out what are the best qualities they are looking for and show that you have these qualities. They need to know you have the ability to do great in whatever skills are needed for this position.
- Get involved. Try to make contact with those you will be interviewing with and anyone else who you may potentially be working with. This can be through emails or even phone calls. The more connected you are ahead of time, the more you will stand out as someone who is already in or at least more in than other candidates who have not bothered to get involved.
- Follow up. Submitting a thank you note is a nice touch after you have gone in for an interview. It shows extra effort and makes you stand out just a little more than those who do not. It is also good to follow up with the interviewers to make sure they do not forget about you. Often there are a lot of people that have been interviewed and it is very easy to get lost in the mix even by mistake. Make sure they know you are still interested if you have not heard anything back.
- Be fun and positive. Often the people who are interviewing you will also be working with you if you get hired. They want to hire someone who is well qualified but also someone who has a good personality and would be fun to work with. You don't have to go in telling jokes, but try to be up beat and show enthusiasm during the interview to show that you would be someone they would like to work with.