Perhaps I have set myself too high standards but I have been disappointed recently throughout an interview process, not as an interviewee but rather as the interviewer. I have had the pleasure, or rather the misfortune, to sit in front of people who could not express themselves, articulate their opinions or construct reasonable answers to questions that they should have foreseen.
Should I have expected better? Yes, I think so. I had hoped that those who had made the effort to come to an interview were better prepared.
Now, it may sound as if I am moaning about the poor quality of potential employees but I am not. Instead I am hoping that the reader has some influence over those who are looking for work and can encourage them to do some preparation in advance. It is not rocket science, yet lack of preparation wastes the time of those who interview and those who are interviewed. It creates a bad impression of the potential employee and frustrates the employment process.
In all interviews there are some basic questions, such as:
- What do you know about the business? This is an opportunity for the candidate to articulate their understanding of the purpose and operations of the company. It allows them to show that they have done a modicum of research and present themselves as someone who would fit in.
- What issues do you think the business is facing? This is a chance for the candidate to project their thoughts into the future and imagine how the business may be affected by changes in the market, technology, politics or something else.
- What do you think are the most important skills required for this job? This shows that the candidate has actually read the job description and can relate their skills to those required. It is also a chance to demonstrate how they keep their skills up to date and how they would fill in any gaps.
With all of these questions it is not that important whether the candidate is right or wrong but rather whether they have thought about it and can articulate a cogent answer.
If you know someone about to go for an interview, please ask them to take a step back and ask themselves what questions they would ask if they were interviewing. Preparing an answer to these questions would be a huge step forward.
Rant over and good luck!