Illustration by Amélie Fontaine

Job interview: a few points to keep in mind

There’s a nice restaurant I like visiting from time to time. Recently I was enjoying my meal and watched a person interviewed for a manager position there. As a job seeker was sitting at the next table to me, I could literally hear every word one said.

At the beginning, a young woman who was applying to manager’s role, did pretty well. But after a series of questions some toggle switched off and she got carried away by details of her life. For around 20 minutes the applicant was talking about personal topics barely related to professional activity. Interviewers were probably well-behaved to interrupt a monolog, but I could notice boredom and sham interest on their faces. Sadly, the woman seemed to be too busy with herself to assess the situation. That made me think: why did it go wrong after all?

Don’t think what you have been asked about, think why. If you guess why, you will know what to answer. Maxim Gorky

Job interview can be quite unsettling process. Some interviewers are aimed to set up friendly atmosphere for the conversation, which is good for showing itself. But the trick is that a candidate can start feeling too safe for sharing information that normally employer should not hear.

Illustration by Amélie Fontaine

Let’s keep in mind that during an interview some questions are formal, like ice-breakers or quick topics to guide the dialog in the right direction. Hardly probable a potential employer needs detailed stories of childhood or student life moments.

If recruiter is happy to chat with you to pass the time at the office, it is unlikely your direct manager has much time for idle talks.

Don’t try to please interviewer by revealing sensitive information or way negative feedback on past jobs. If this is happening, recall yourself that this is not a proper attitude.

During an interview it is very important to stay relaxed but concentrated. Keep your focus on how you want to to appear before the employer. It doesn’t mean pretending to be someone you are not. This is about uncovering mindset, skills and working approaches that a company might be interested in.

Illustration by Amélie Fontaine

Job interview is a bilateral process. Use allotted time to find out about relationship within a team, working terms and expectations for selected role. Get sure that work contract will bring mutual benefit. Act honorably even if you are deeply in need of getting this job to pay the bills. Always know your worth as professional and rise to the occasion.