Just as interviews vary, so do interviewers and their styles. As a rule of thumb, the way interviewers approach the job will chiefly be determined by:
- How trained and experienced they are
- How much time and resource they have available
Who is doing the interview?
Clearly there is a world of difference between:
- An interview conducted by a professional (e.g. a human resources specialist or a selection consultant)
- One carried out by the line manager in whose area the job is based
With the former, the interview will tend to be structured and follow a defined pattern. With the latter, the questions will be more random and out of sequence. Moreover, a professional will only have a general understanding of whatever it is you do for a living, whereas the person who could be your next boss will be focused on how much you know (expect the questions to reflect this).
Finding out about interviewers
Even though it helps to see the general directions that interviewers are coming from, it still does not prepare you for individuals. What questions does Mr Bloggs of S Company like to ask? More importantly, what answers is he looking for? At the same time does Mr Bloggs have any peculiarities or quirks?
What can consultants tell you?
Many jobs are sourced through consultants of one sort or another and, as remarked previously, these consultants are often storehouses of information on employers, including their interview methods. For instance:
- Any favourite questions they like to ask
- What’s behind the questions
- How best to answer
- Any likes and dislikes
Many consultants will have dealt with employers over long periods, hence they have often picked up feedback from candidates who have been for interview before.
Reminder: do not fight shy of picking consultants’ brains. There is usually a good pay-off for them if you are successful in getting the job.
Tapping into your networks
Your networks are another good source of information on interviewers. Has anyone you know attended an interview in the past with this particular interviewer? If so, what can they tell you about the way the interview went? Do they have any tips for you? Alternatively, can they put you in touch with someone better placed to give you a few insights?
This advice underlines an important point about networking in practice – we all tend to operate in small worlds, the boundaries to which are determined by:
– The geographical areas in which we work (or have worked in the past)
– Our own particular occupations or professions Within these small worlds, people tend to know one another: paths cross and you usually do not have to go very far before you find someone who can give you some helpful information. The key to networks is to use them.
Crystal is a editor for a renowned Cv Writing Service Review website in the UK called Cv Review Service. She works a a Career Counsellor in a leading UK university and loves to blog in her free time.