Perhaps this experience sounds familiar: you left a job interview feeling confused, ragged, disappointed or angry? You fear that not quelling those emotions will douse yet another job opportunity fire. Many times, job seekers are so focused on securing their next gig they allow a company free rein to treat them as a liability versus an asset.
By reframing the interview assessment process, you can empower yourself, recouping your positive energy and regaining job search muscle. Though your instincts to hit the interview ball out of the park are solid, you do have options when you have reached home base and the company offers you the coveted job.
Following are some questions to ask yourself when evaluating a company’s preparedness to bring on new talent, and thus, to help you determine if THEY are a right fit.
- Did the company set up expectations for interview length, and then disrespect boundaries once you entered their corporate doors? For example, did they schedule you for a two-hour interview, so you took appropriate time off of your current job and / or arranged for a babysitter only to find yourself, six hours later, still navigating the company’s interview maze?
- Did the company provide an itinerary regarding with whom you would be interviewing? If so, great, as this equips you with information you can check out via LinkedIn and other sites to research and preliminarily get to know the interviewers. If not, then consider how this lack of meeting preparation and etiquette may reflect on future corporate interactions.
- Are the interview questions open-ended, inspiring a conversation? Do they allow for a deeper-dive introspection into your past performance as it ties to the hiring company’s needs? Or, do the questions only inspire a yes or no response? Closed-ended interview questions may mirror a genuine disrespect for the thoughts and ideas of their employees.
- Did the company ask for references too early in the process? As well, did they request an exorbitant number of references? Up to four or five references is fairly standard, but beyond that, you may want to consider why they are diving so deeply into your reference pool. I had one client whose interviewer requested nine references. In surveying recruiters, I found that, except for special situations, requesting nine references was over the top.
- Did the company intently pursue you with multiple, exhaustive interviews (perhaps even shuffling you out of town for headquarters-based conversations), after which they promised—and then failed—to get back with you in a certain time frame? Did they not show courtesy via a phone call or email to keep you in the loop as to the hiring process or their decision? If this same company reconnects with you at a later date for the same, or new, job opening, consider their earlier, inconsiderate behavior as a red flag.
- Did the interviewer invite you to ask him questions, or was the conversation one-sided? Was the interview spigot shut off before you had ample time to investigate your concerns and questions about the job opportunity and the company as a whole?
Preparing for, and going on the job interview may appear to be cut and dried, but in reality, it is—or should be—the culmination of many weeks (perhaps months) of preparation. Opportunity meeting preparedness is the key to a successful outcome. With that in mind, and with the exhaustive preparation necessary to not only survive, but to thrive during an interview, the company has a responsibility to organize and facilitate a smooth interview process. If the interviewing company shows disrespect, unpreparedness and / or causal disregard for other aspects of the interview process, and toward you, it may foreshadow future behavior concerning you as their employee.