Interview? Tell me a story!

When Argos and PMR were smaller companies I used to spend a significant amount of time interviewing people. How do you guys prepare for an interview? Do you read the CV? The cover letter? Check out employment history on Linked In? I might do some of that stuff AFTER an interview if I am still interested, but not before. Does that sound terrible of me to admit? It’s not that I don’t respect the time that goes into preparing CVs, cover letter, etc. I guess what I want to hear at an interview is a story.

My main goal in an interview is to understand what the person is doing at that particular moment in their lives. How did they get there and why HERE at THIS table? What’s the main motivator for them to be here? Are they just trying to get a job? Or are they really looking for something specific? The truth is, in my opinion, the best interviews are with people who really seem to have a clear vision of what they want and what they don’t want and who know what they are looking for. Unfortunately, you can’t write that down on a piece of paper, that just comes out naturally in a conversation. That’s why I don’t real believe in analyzing the candidates too much prior to an interview.

For me an interview should be an honest open conversation about where a person wants to go professionally and where the company is trying to go and understand if there is a mutual fit or not. A lot of that will come out in the story of how the person got to the table in the first place. Tell me a nice story and let’s see if our stories align! Now that’s an interview!