Interviewing: A two-way street

Kyle BentonStrategic Talent ExecutivePosted December 6, 2021

Current IT unemployment rates are less than 2%, meaning that most interviewees are not searching for employment because they are out of work, but instead because they are looking to make a change due to something lacking in their current company. Just as the company is interviewing candidates to find the best candidate to fill their open role, you, too, should be interviewing the company to ensure this is the right role and fit for you. Below are 7 quick tips on how to make sure you are making the most of the interview process, and keeping the interview process a two-way street.

1. Research – Conduct research not only on the company, but the individuals you will be meeting with. Rather than asking the interviewers “why do I want to work here?”, it is more impactful to ask a question along the lines of “I see you’ve worked here for 10 years. Why do you consider this company home?” When researching the company itself, take negative reviews with a grain of salt, especially for larger companies. A big portion of public reviews only come from people who are upset, and more likely to leave negative reviews. Additionally, that negative review may have nothing to do with the department you’re in, or the people you’d be working with.

2. Give specific, detailed answers – Familiarize yourself with Situational Interview Questions. Rather than giving general or vague answers, you should be able to tell a short story that describes the situation that occurred, how you reacted, and what the outcome was. A great way to prepare for these types of questions is to have stories/examples ready to go. Review your resume and think of stories you can use to answer questions in more detail. Situational Interview Questions are commonly known as “SBO” (Situation, Behavior, Outcome) or the STAR Method (Situation, Task, Action, Result).

3. Find Common Ground – When looking at the professional background of the interviewers, look for commonalities in your backgrounds. Maybe you attended the same college, worked for the same company, or worked in the same industry. Anything that can create a common ground and connection to the interviewer will help you build that connection with the team.

4. Non-verbal communication – This is just as important when interviewing virtually, as it is interviewing in-person. Smile, make eye contact (with your camera), and be aware of the background in your virtual office. You also want to make sure your login name is professional.

5. Ask Questions – this one is HUGE. Having questions prepared shows that you have done your research and have an interest in the position and company. Common feedback from hiring managers is that if candidates do not have any questions, they feel the candidate was not interested in the role. Additionally, if you are looking to make a change from your current roles for reasons A and B, but love C and D, how do those compare to the new role/company? At the end of the interview, you will likely have a chance to ask any questions you want. You should have all questions answered in case they do want to make you an offer.

6. Be Honest and Be Yourself – Do not lie about your experience. Some candidates list additional responsibilities or technical experiences on their resumes but struggle to speak intelligently when questioned during an interview. If it’s on your resume, be prepared to talk about it.

7. Close the interview – a great way to close the interview is by asking “based on my resume, and our conversation today, is there anything that makes you think I would not be the top candidate for this position?” Their answer should give you a great understanding of where things stand. If they say “no” then you can ask what steps look like, or when you can start. If they do have reasons for why you are not their top selection, that gives you another chance to address those hesitations. Close the interview by addressing any concerns and reaffirming your interest in the role, as well as why you think you’d make a great addition to the team.

Looking for additional insight into the interview process? Agility Partners takes pride in helping the candidates prepare for their interviews. If you’re interested in connecting with a Talent Executive at Agility Partners, you can apply to any of our 125+ openings at AgilityConnect.io. You can also refer friends, family members, or individuals in your professional network. Our referral rewards range from $500-$3,000.

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Kyle Benton Kyle is a Strategic Talent Executive at Agility Partners. His recruiting specialties are BAs, .NET, ETL, and SAP.