The interview process: it's not all about you

Oct 30, 2015 2:33:56 PM

You're in the interview room and you feel well prepared for the interview process. You're ready to answer as many of the mad questions as you can think of, "how many bits of Lego do you think it would take to build the Eiffel tower?" "Why are manhole covers the shape they are?" Yep, you have them all down and are confident you can answer the questions you haven't thought of. You have your list of questions for when the person interviewing you says, "Do you have any questions for me?"... and they're questions beyond "how many holidays" and "what is the pay".

Whilst you may be in the hot seat, you need to know that the job you want is the job you will get. You need to know about the company, team, managers and, importantly, how they will treat you as a person. You will not get that by just answering all their questions. You need to go into that interview with as many questions as they have or more.

Questions to consider when entering the interview process

Have you thought about why you want the job, why you want to work for that company, what it is that you are helping to achieve by working for them. Those questions don't always get answered on the outside, the only way to really know is to work there. However, the next best thing to do, is to ask the person sitting in front of you those exact questions.

Perhaps you ask them what they like about it and, more importantly, what they don't. Ask them about where they started, their career trajectory. Even if the person who is interviewing you doesn't work for the team you are applying for, you can get a good feeling for the company as a whole.

Focus on asking the right questions 

As someone who has sat on both sides of the table, the best interviews that I have been in have been those that were conversations. The worst were those where questions garnered a one word answer. This is a chance for 2 people (perhaps more) to come together and work out if you are the best person for the role. They shouldn't be trying to trip you up, they should be trying to get the best out of you. You should be able to articulate yourself comfortably and in a way that reveals your strengths. It should not be about finding the smallest weakness and making it bigger. Yes, you need to display how you bounce back when something goes wrong, but not focus on it above all else.

It is not all about you.

When you are interviewing for your next role, remember, it isn't all about how much you can impress them with your smarts and career history, it is how much they impress you with their purpose, vision and the way they treat their people, all of which need to answer your question: "Why do I want this job?".

Find out more about our guest blogger Ghilaine Chan

Ghilaine is passionate about allowing people to do their best work and delight others

Ghilaine helps people to operate fast growing businesses in a productive and streamlined way, keeping an eye on time and money, whilst increasing motivation and improving customer relationships in a fast paced, changing environment. She brings order to chaos and creates scalable processes around the business, empowering them to delight their customers.

She works with tech based or enabled companies who are looking to disrupt their industries, but know that people are at the centre of their success and helping them manage their teams to: 

  • Do their best work and delighting others
  • Create some boundaries, but not cages
  • Know they are acting for a purpose
  • Determine which part they play, that what they receive enables them and what they produce is useful
  • Have autonomy over how and when they produce

She has over 15 years' experience in scaling international business functions for technology companies, within their support and consultancy organisations.

Ghilaine is a graduate of London College of Fashion (now part of University of the Arts: London) with a degree in Product Development. She is a Mentor with Microsoft Ventures,UpRising and Outbox Incubator as well as an Approved Business Coach with Growth Accelerator, now part of Business Growth Services. 

Want to know more? Connect with Ghilaine on LinkedIn, follow her on Twitter and visit her website, Ghilaine & Co

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