Interviews are a test. They make many of us uncomfortable as we don’t like tests.
I can’t say I loved exams when I was at school and escaping them was a real motivator in completing my studies back then.
One thing I do remember clearly though was almost every teacher, tutor or lecturer gave the same piece of advice:
“Make sure you read the question through carefully and understand what it’s asking of you before you proceed.”
That same rule can be applied to the interview. Listen. Let them finish the question. Really understand what they are requesting of you instead of your assumption of what it is they want to know.
This is particularly true for all of you in a profession such as HR, Recruitment or Management in which you regularly interview.
Its easy to fall into the trap of trying to second guess what the interviewer wants to know.
There is enough going on in the interview without trying to pepper your answers with what you ‘think’ they want to hear.
The more you concentrate on trying to read into the questions the Recruiters poses and putting yourself in their shoes the less ‘listening’ you are actually doing.
Relax, allow yourself to be interviewed.
By really listening you stay in the moment and are much more likely to give relevant detailed responses.
Many candidates who wander off point are trying to make the conversation reach their destination. They are trying to shoe horn in information they want to get across. Yes, as the job seeker you will have an agenda and if the information fits then use it, if it doesn’t wait for an opportunity such as the end to raise your points.
Your communication skills are very much on trial as much as what you are saying. To work effectively in most roles you need to answer requests for information and get relevant information across effectively.
But they’re asking me the wrong questions!
Interviewers vary dramatically in expertise, but to all intents and purposes the one in front of you is the one you are stuck with and you need to work with them in order to get past go.
Prepare examples of your experience and questions which demonstrate your interest and research into the company. Use them where relevant.
Interviews are a two way process and you need to understand what’s on offer. Yet remember, you can always ask for more information before you make a decision on an offer, if you don’t meet the criteria the recruiter has set you won’t get the offer in the first place.
Let them lead the way, meet their needs first.
If you found this subject of interest, you may also like the following related posts from Approachthemarket.com:
10 Questions You Should Ask At Interview
Sarah Cooper has over 14 years Recruitment experience gained in both an internal and agency environment. As one of the founding Directors of McGinnis Loy Ltd, specialist Finance and HR Recruiters, she is still actively recruiting in the marketplace today. Follow her tweets @approachmarket