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Navigating the Interview

This week I want to talk about navigating the interview. When we think about an interview, for some, the process unearths a number of emotions and challenges. Especially for those that are introverts. An interview can feel intrusive, judgemental, condescending, overly inquisitive, pushy and number of other emotions that give you that "too close for comfort vibe". So I want to spend a few moments talking through some of the common interview approaches and a few simple tips you can use to prepare yourself and your responses.

Phone Screening

  • What - this determines if you are eligible for the actual interview process.

  • Who - conducted by a Recruiting Coordinator or the Recruiting Assistant.

  • Function - They are not connected to the role in anyway. Their role is to weed out unqualified candidates. They are listening for keywords, looking for very specific responses.

  • Preparation - Make sure you understand the role, specifically the job posting. Your resume and responses should align to the role requirements as much as possible to be considered. This may only take 15-30 mins. Screenings are usually quick and targeted.

Phone/In Person Interview

  • What - Actual interview. You've passed the screening and this will move you one step further in the hiring process. The interviewer is interested in your relevant skills, background and job history as it relates to your qualifications for the role you've applied for.

  • Who - this will involve a Recruiting Manager, HR Manager or the actual Hiring Manager.

  • Function - The Recruiting/HR Manager will represent the business or organization doing the actual hiring. They have a clear understanding of the needs of the business and the hiring manager and in many cases, will represent the hiring manager during this phase of the interview. If you do well here, you will move forward to meet with the hiring manager. The hiring manager is the person hiring for the role. You will be hired to work for this person directly, or will be hired to work for this persons team. They, like the HR and Recruiting managers will be interested in your relevant experience, skills and job history as it relates to your qualifications for this role.

  • Preparation - You should be prepared to discuss what makes you the best option for the role. You should also research the company and have a good understanding of what the company does. This can take anywhere from 30 min to an hour of time.

Panel Interviews -

  • What - A panel or group interview is an interview comprised of 2 or more members of the direct hiring team.

  • Who - The hiring manager and hiring team is involved.

  • Function - They work for the company, created the role and have decided that filling the position is necessary. This interview can have different "rounds" and may have interviewers change after some point in the process. You could be called back at a later date to continue in another phase of the interview process.

  • Preparation - Group/panel interviews are also full interviews. You should be prepared to answer a number of questions from different members of the panel and the team if applicable. You can be asked a range of questions about your experience, and situational and emotional intelligence questions. You'll also be asked to talk about your career goals and future plans beyond the role itself (where do you see yourself in the next 3-5 years). Definitely do your research to understand the company and hiring organization. Additionally, you should have some specific examples of challenges that you can speak to in the interview to show how you were able to overcome hurdles on the job. Finally, be prepared to speak to your accomplishments as an individual contributor and as a member of the team. Panel interviews can range from 1-2 hours.

Now that you have a better understanding of what your scheduled interview approach is, who is involved and how you can prepare, hopefully it gives you more ease as you get ready for your interview. When your interview is scheduled, make sure you ask questions to help you prepare. If you are not told about the type of interview in advance, make sure you ask about the interview type and style. Also, ask about the duration in advance, to make sure you build enough time in your schedule to focus on the interview without feeling like you are being rushed. You don't have to feel overwhelmed or insecure about an interview if you spend the time preparing. If you think about your interview in terms of simply having a conversation, it might make the encounter easier.

Unless of course, you are totally opposed to speaking to other people...

I understand the anxiety that comes from speaking to someone new or speaking about yourself from any extended period of time. If you struggle with situations like that, make sure you use the tips above.

To help you prepare for your interview or review your resume, visit our Experience page to find a solution that suits your needs.

Interviewing is not an exact science, but planning your approach can be the difference in getting stopped at the phone screening and walking away with an offer. You can do it!!

These are absolutely my thoughts...ratedpg!


*Disclaimer - The thoughts contained in these posts are my own. The advice and tips shared are based on my experience as a working professional. As a certified career and organizational coach, I do share this knowledge with my clients. I do not guarantee any particular results, as results and experiences will vary. Some of my blog content is for entertainment purposes only. Nothing in my blog is intended to be used to diagnose or treat any emotional, mental, or medical condition. For that, please see the appropriate professional. For additional information, please refer to the Terms of this site.

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