Job interviews can be among the most interesting exchanges in the catalog of business interaction.
It’s pretty standard to fire off a couple of dozen questions to facilitate discovery into the applicant’s work history, professional accomplishments, skill sets and general demeanor.
But it may be how they ask questions that can tell you much more about a potential employee. Reading between the lines and listening carefully is critical, especially given the tumultuous events we have all dealt with over the past few months. Now, more than ever, the candidate’s questions for the interviewer may say even more about them than the answers they give:
- Why is the job available?
- What are the expectations for success in the position?
- Describe the company’s overarching management style.
- Is there advancement potential, and if so, how does one advance within the organization?
Prospective employees who walk into an interview attentive and visibly at ease, prepared with a list of well-considered questions of their own, can set an affirmative tone and send a few important messages in the process.
I have always believed that interview sessions should be less about a grilling-style interrogation and more of a focused, yet relaxed, conversation with an emphasis on listening.
When handled appropriately, interviews can provide everything from subtle insights to wide-open windows into essential characteristics such as maturity, self-awareness and whether or not the person would mesh with your staff and fit your company’s workplace culture.
When I recall some of the most successful hires that I have made over the years, there was typically a connection made during the interview process that involved personal reflection, transparency and matters more of the heart than the mind. Particularly now, given the circumstances, I watch carefully for these moments.