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Mastering The Interview

There are a few different types of interviews as you getting closer to landing that next amazing job that will accelerate your career. 

Talking To Recruiters – The Screening Call

In almost every situation the first person to contact you about a new job will be a recruiter.  Many people think the recruiter is there to perform the interview; they are not.

The recruiter is usually screening you to make sure a few boxes are checked:

  • Are you a real person that seems reasonable?

  • Are you eligible to work for this company?

  • Are you willing to work in the correct location?

  • Does your experience seem legitimate?

  • And the big one, how much money do you want? 


The first conversations with the recruiter are usually very short. Remember perception matters, so take this opportunity to establish why you are a good fit for the role by being professional, positive, and asking good questions.


Here are a few questions to ask the recruiter to help you get started:

  • Why are they hiring for this role? In other words, is this a new role or did someone leave the position?

  • Who is the hiring manager?

  • Who will I be interviewing with?

  • Will the interview be in person, on the phone, or video conference?

  • How many other candidates do you have for this position?

  • Are there other similar positions you are hiring for as well?

  • What made you choose to come to this company?

  • What are the things you like about working at the company?


The odds are that the recruiter doesn’t know much about the day-to-day responsibilities of the job, but it doesn’t hurt to ask good questions about the role to establish your knowledge of the role.



💡 Pro Tip:   Be prepared to have the first person who calls you be the actual hiring manager! Especially at smaller companies or startups the hiring manager doesn’t have the time or patience to wait on the formal Human Resources process. This means you need to be ready to answer their questions and ask your questions.


The Real Interviews

Assuming you made it through the screening call with the recruiter you will then interview with the hiring manager or a team of people you will be working with.


First and foremost, just relax because:

  • You are prepared.

  • It is just a job; it does not define who you are as a human.

  • There is always another job that will fit your experience.

  • You are interviewing them as well.


Interviewing With Hiring Managers And Team Members


Begin by researching the person or people who will be interviewing you.

An easy place to start is Google and LinkedIn. No need to look up their criminal history, which is quite easy, but you are just trying to get a sense of who they are, how they ended up in their position, and if you share anything in common.


During the interview remember:

  • Be positive.

  • Answer questions stating the PROBLEM, what ACTION did you take, and how did you help create a successful RESULT. You should have already prepared examples.

  • Have questions ready to ask the hiring manager:

    • Why is this role open?

    • What are the short term needs for this role?

    • What are opportunities for improvement on the team?

    • How are we as a team strategically important to the company?

    • What is your leadership style?

    • Why did you join the company?

    • How is the team performing today? Follow-up as needed if you hear anything concerning.

    • What are the things that need to change in the short-term and medium-term?

    • What are the key risks that need immediate attention, if any?

    • If this is a managerial role, find a way to understand if you are a decision maker or if you are a manager in title only.


  • Have questions ready to ask the team members:

    • What does a typical week look like for you in this role?

    • What do you like about the company?

    • Would you refer a friend or family member to work on the team?


💡 Pro Tip:  Avoid asking closed-ended questions that have a “yes” or “no” answer.  Ask dynamic questions in the interview that allow the interviewer(s) to understand you are an expert in this field.


As with any other topic under the sun there are a ton of websites out there that have suggested questions you can ask. 


Make sure you are being intentional about your questions.  Don’t just ask questions to ask question and use everyone’s time wisely.

Final Thought

Remember you are interviewing the company and team as well. 


This is your opportunity to understand what problems may exist with the company or why this is a great company to work for. 

This will be important when you Get An Offer or even if Your Didn't Get An Offer

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