In a beauty pageant, the judges investigate a slate of challengers, pose a couple of inquiries, maybe have the candidates play out an ability or some likeness thereof, and afterward every one of the contenders parade around the phase in favor dresses or swimming outfits. Toward the finish of this, the judges announce a victor. She cries since it’s so awesome and the various contenders praise her and afterward sneak back home, discouraged in light of the fact that they didn’t get the crown.
It’s a Job Interview, Not a Beauty Pageant
Some place along the line, individuals began treating prospective employee meet-ups a similar way. We see the procuring administrator as a challenge judge who is to be dreaded and inspired. Rather than considering, “what might I truly do in this circumstance” we figure, “what does this judge need to hear?”
The difference is at the end of a beauty pageant, the winner gets a crown, some money and the the obligation to ride on the back of a convertible in the town 4th of July parade, while the “winner” of the job interview “pageant” gets to spend 40-50 hours a week with the “judge.”
In this way, since the results are not remotely comparative, we have to quit treating the prospective employee meeting like a show. This is not a place where the procuring supervisor gets the chance to make inquiries and you attempt to make sense of what in the hell the appropriate response should be. This is put where you two ought to be working hard to decide whether you are the most ideally equipped individual for the occupation and if this is the best place for you to work. Truly, you have to look proper, yet you aren’t being judged on your appearance unless it is outrageous.
Remember, you are interviewing them just as much as they are interviewing you. Here are some things you need to know before accepting a job:
- Is this a new or existing position?
- If existing, why did the previous person leave? If the person was promoted, great. If the person was fired, why? If the person left for a new position, why?
- If new, are the responsibilities new or being taken from other people? How do the people whose responsibilities you will be taking over feel about this? Will you be walking into a tension filled situation or will people be thrilled. If the responsibilities are new, does the position have adequate support to be successful?
- What is the hiring manager’s management style? If you are an independent, “I’ll call you if I have a problem, otherwise leave me alone” worker, having a manager who likes giving out checklists and following up all the time would be painful. Does the manager give regular feedback? Are you okay with that? Are you okay with receiving no feedback?
- What type of people tend to succeed in this company? What type fail? If you are a status quo loving person and the company is constantly reinventing itself there will be trouble. On the other hand, if you are a new idea producer and they don’t like new, it won’t be a success.
- If you will be supervising others, can you meet with these people before accepting an offer? Your relationship with them will probably be more critical then the relationship with your direct manager, likewise your peers. You will be working with an entire team, not just a direct manager. You need to know these people as well.
- How often do “crises” arise? What is the usual cause? Are crises due to lack of planning in other departments? Lack of resources? Whims of senior management? Clients? You need to know how things really function.
There are other things you need to know, specific to your job and industry. For instance, if I was interviewing for an HR job, one of the questions I would ask is how layoffs are carried out. The reason I would ask that is that how a company treats the people who are being laid off tells me a lot about how they value their employees. I don’t want to do employee relations for a company that has a security guard stand over a newly laid off employee, questioning if that picture of small children is really personal property. That’s a red flag for me.
You should ask questions. You can even ask questions after an offer has been made and before you make your decision. If they don’t like your questions then that is a pretty big indication that they want employees who shut up and do what they are told. You know, kind of like a beauty pageant winner. Smile and look pretty and don’t stray from the script.