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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.


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