Why Is Interviewing Important
Few interviewers are trained to conduct excellent interviews.
Interviewers try to ask questions that, in their experience, will give
them the information needed to make the selection of the best candidate
for the job. The result is an attempt to stay within federal guidelines
(i.e. not asking questions about race, age, etc.) while eliciting
answers to important issues surrounding the open position.
Interview questions may reflect the most recent experience the hiring
manager had with the last person in this position. For example,
questions might surround transportation issues or availability to work
overtime or other issues that interfered with the smooth performance of
the last person in the position.
No matter what questions are asked, however, there are three basic
issues that must be addressed:
Can you do the job? Clearly, if you have been asked to interview,
the assumption is that "you have what it takes." Resumes can be
falsified, so expect a few questions to encourage you to confirm or
elaborate on your experience.
Will you do the job? This may seem to be a foolish question, but
too often, highly qualified employees do not show initiative,
enthusiasm, or creativity when faced with problems to solve or even
routine tasks. Your use of examples when answering questions helps
your past experience to "come alive" and to demonstrate that you
take pride in your work and will take the responsibility to increase
quality levels, ensure customer satisfaction or meet deadlines, etc.
Will you fit in? This question is critical to the successful
outcome of any hire for any position. No matter how technically
qualified you may be for a position, "fitting in" is even more
important. Employers will "take a chance" on a less qualified
candidate ("can you do the job?") IF the person demonstrates
enthusiasm for learning ("will you do the job?") and IF the person
appears to "fit in."
Reflect on your own career to date. At different stages, were you
able to either take on assignments in new areas or even accept new
positions because your manager felt good rapport with you and was
willing to teach you what you lacked? This also happens in the job
interview. Most frequently, the selected candidate will be qualified AND
have good rapport with the hiring manager.