If you did not enjoy your last interview, regardless of which side of the desk you were on (do people still use desks to interview behind? – I hope not!), then you are certainly not alone according to a recent survey reported in the Globe & Mail (click here for full article).
Someone once said to me – the interview is a lot like dating, you are both a little nervous, unsure of each other, you might have some information about the other but its all either heresay or documented but not yet experienced.
Then you spend time trying to get the other person to talk more than you do, answer your questions and eventually give you enough information for you to make a decision as to whether you want to see them again.
The survey highlights a frustration from both sides toward the other – sounds like a lack of communication.
Both sides can start by following the same rules for interviews:
1. Do your research, find out more about the other ‘side’ than what is presented on paper. There should be no excuse for not using the internet.
2. Dress appropriately for your industry, culture and level of position. Better to err on more professional, you can always dress down but never up.
3. Treat everyone equally, you never know who they know or might be talking to afterwards. Be on time and respectful of others time.
4. Make and keep good eye contact. Show genuine interest in the other ‘side’
5. You are not expected to be an expert at this. The interview is a fairly false situation that no-one is completely comfortable with, so remember we are all entitled to be a little nervous – but that is not an excuse to be unprepared.
6. Make it a conversation, ask and answer questions, do not make it all a one way street – either way. Share information to ensure you are BOTH making an informed choice.
7. Confirm your interest if that is the case, do not leave either ‘side’ hanging on or getting the wrong impression.
At the end of the day it should not be viewed as a war or a battle, but a business meeting that might result in a win for everyone.
It never hurts to spread a little love in an interview, especially on Valentines day!