I’ve been on both sides of the desk as an interviewee and an interviewer. Neither one role is ever easy. A lot of factors are taken into consideration, and a whole lot more surprises in store.
As an Interviewee
After all the photocopying and submission of your application letters, resumé and document attachments to your desired company of choice, receiving a phone call or text informing you of an interview schedule is one welcome surprise which opens up a can full of jitters. Picking up an outfit that would best fit you AND that would exude professionalism but at the same time compliment your looks. Quite tough for those fashion-challenged individuals. Next, if you sent out your application via email and the office address is not familiar to you, getting to your interview on time would be a challenge. (This happens when you’re from the province and a first-timer in the big city). So what to do? Try to scout the area on the day before. If you’ll be travelling for a couple of hours before getting there (or if it’s in another region), it doesn’t hurt to ask for directions from the interviewer himself/herself. Chances are, the interviewer would be giving the instructions on how to get to their office once you have confirmed your availability. Another concern of an interviewee would be: 1. The questions that will be asked and how to answer it well; 2. How to give a good impression; 3. How long will the interview run; 4. Will they pass; 5. Would the workplace fit me; and 6. Battery of Tests. It really depends on the who, what, where, why, and how.
A couple of tips:
1. Relax. Give in to your nerves but keep them in check.
2. Be on time. Better to be an early bird.
3. Be courteous. It never hurts to smile.
4. Don’t make unnecessary jokes. Some interviewers might not like it.
5. Do your homework. Know the background of the company you’re applying at.
As an Interviewer
People on the other side think that it’s easy to be the interviewer. Let me burst your bubble. It’s not! Being the interviewer is equally challenging. You have to be a mind reader, a peer, a manager, and a theorist all rolled into one.
To start off, receiving a large quantity of resumés and application letters is never easy to sift through. Especially when the initial requirements do not match with the aspiring candidates’ background. It’s equally tedious to set-up individual interviews for applicants who fail to show up during their scheduled dates, and to conduct interviews to applicants who simply think that putting themselves down would have a positive effect in the result of their interview. And there are other applicants JUST DON’T ANSWER THE QUESTIONS… AT ALL!!! Rare are the applicants who are able to express themselves, and fit the requirements. Sad to say though that they only come in small numbers.
Another factor to consider is if the applicant decides to back-out after being offered the job. That’s one big blow for interviewers. And quite frankly, a bit annoying. But then again, there’s no forcing it.
During the interview, both the interviewee and interviewer size each other up, so to speak. How the approach would be depends mainly on the initial interaction and nonverbal cues given by both.
If you want an interview to be successful, listening and actively participating is the key. That goes both for the interviewer and interviewee. And of course, the job must be fit for you (as a candidate) and the person you’re interviewing must have the minimum requirements needed for the job (as an interviewer).
- Eight Common Mistakes Made During Job Interviews (biojobblog.com)
- Behavioral Interviewing – Getting the Most Out Of an Interview (thenon-profittoolbox.com)
- Interviewing humans (billbennett.co.nz)
- Tips for The Positive Interview (socyberty.com)