Interview The Interviewer

This is one aspect often ignored in interviews by freshers and experienced candidates alike. I have been in many interviews where the candidate just shakes his/her head when I ask if they have any questions for me.

People are not there to see you for a marriage proposal! Being shy in that situation is acceptable, even though I am not a big fan of being shy. But not in an interview! You won’t score points by being shy, in fact you will lose points over people who were more outgoing and engaging!

Time to bring up an example to illustrate my point.

Imagine you have decided to build the first floor for renting to make some money on the side, everybody is doing it, and you too want to get in on the action.

You find two contractors who are interested in the work. One of them has a bunch of questions for you. He asks all the details not just how much you plan to pay for the work. But the actual technical details about steel, cement, laborers, your preferences and the floor plan etc.

The other contractor doesn’t ask much, he is just eager to get the contract and wants to know how much you are willing to pay. He doesn’t show any effort to know more about your requirements and what needs to be done. Don’t forget you have a full time job, you can’t afford to supervise the construction all day, everyday.

Would you feel comfortable handing the project to the former(first) contractor or the latter(second)? Who seems to be an independent, self-starter type of guy, who will require minimal supervision?I hope you picked the former. I know I have given a very simplified example, but I think it is good enough to make the point.

Interviewers are used to seeing plain vanilla responses from freshers in interviews, they expect the same from you too. They expect you to come in give a lame introduction about yourself that starts with “Myself ….”, present your resume with hobbies and “truthful” declarations, and typos to make it more ordinary. But if you start asking them about the job, project, responsibilities, technology, skills needed, and start discussing these elements you will get their attention. You will also come across someone interesting unlike the freshers they interviewed before you.

After you the interview, you will continue to stay on their radar and improve your chances of getting shortlisted or even offered a job.

Managers would prefer hiring candidates who already have the skills or the knowledge rather than some rookie who needs training. This will need resources and time to teach the new candidate. This eats into the team’s time and also add more work on their plates

Showing enthusiasm and interest will demonstrate to them you can be a self-starter and won’t need as much attention as someone who looks disinterested and unenthusiastic.

I talk about demonstrating enthusiasm and interest (DPI) in my book Fresher Formula. It is an important of my strategy in impressing the interview panel and doing well in the interview.

Turn the tables. Interview the interviewers!

Good luck!

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