The Job Interviewer
The Job Interviewer
Rod Cornwell (International Director, Thomas International) gives expert video advice on: What is the interviewer looking for?; Is an interviewer sizing me up from the moment I walk in? and more...
What should I expect of the interviewer?
You arrive on the day of your job interview and you're face to face with your potential future employer. From an interviewer, you should expect a structured, thoroughly briefed interview process. They should sit you down, make you feel comfortable, make you feel at ease and talk to you about some of the smaller aspects of life in terms of general platitudes. Then they should interview you in a very structured way and they should tell you exactly what they're going to take you through in the job interview and how long it's going to take. They should also tell you about the decision-making process in terms of whether or not there is a second interview or a next stage in the interview process is. An interviewer should manage your expectations of the job interview process. That's what every good interviewer does.
What is the interviewer looking for?
What every good interviewer is looking for is to get under the skin of the individual that they're trying to recruit during a job interview. What they want to see is the real person, so be honest, be straight forward, be professional, be concise, be you. The interviewers don't want to see some flash person that's overly arrogant or overly confident or shy or nervous or any of those extremes. What they're looking for in the job interview is the real you. The whole idea of the interview from their end is to see if you fit the way they want the job done. They want to see the real you.
Is an interviewer sizing me up from the moment I walk in?
From the moment you walk in the building for an interview, you are being measured, you are being monitored, and people want to know about you. As soon as you walk up to the receptionist, even though that person isn't interviewing you, you need to sell yourself to that individual. You need to be nice, you need to be professional. Once you've been taken in from reception to maybe the assistant who's recruiting you, then you need to go through that process and be nice and professional and courteous at all times. You are being sized up, you are being spotlighted from the moment you walk in, and indeed, to the moment you walk out of the building. Be professional at all times during an interview.
Should I be aware of anyone else judging me during an interview?
It's important to remember that you're being watched from the moment you walk in the building, not just by the interviewer. You walk into reception because you probably have to sign in or announce that you've arrived. That receptionist will be sizing you up. Remember, they are the front line in terms of the company. They have a direct link to the person who's interviewing you. Quite often, the interviewer may come back down the stairs and ask the receptionist what they think of you. First impressions are very important, especially if it's a field based or face to face role that you're applying for. When you arrive, be courteous, be professional, have good manners. When you're shown in from reception to meet up with the assistant, to the person who's recruiting you, be courteous. All these people are watching you during the interview process. You have a spotlight on you from the moment you walk in the building. Obviously, you'll go through the interview process when you're with your interviewer. Also remember when you come out to say goodbye to the assistant. As you come back down the stairs, past reception, say goodbye to the receptionist. Come out of the building, get in your car or on the train professionally, and then you can whoop and holler, enjoy yourself and really relax. But don't fall into the trap of thinking it's all over when you come out of the interview room, because it's not. You're in the spotlight the entire time you're in the building.
When does the interview end?
One of the tricks that some interviewers use is in a job interview is to get you to switch off from the interview environment by saying things like, "OK. We are finished with all the formal questions now. Now what did you think of the football last night?" or "Do you fancy going for a drink?". Don't let the interviewer relax you. Be professional at all times. You never switch off until the moment that you disengage with the interviewer, when you walk out of the pub, or indeed when you walk out of the building. Remember, you are being interviewed all the time.