Phone: 214-446-2870
Latest News

Six Questions Interviewers Need to Know

September 1, 2009

The reality is that employers have neither the time nor inclination to play games with you, especially when hiring. Your interviewer is not trying to outguess you -- he's trying to assess your answers to six key questions:


     1.     Do You Have the Skills/Competencies to Do the Job? 

The employer must first determine whether you have the necessary “hard” skills for the position, e.g., the programming knowledge for a database administration job or the writing skills to be a newspaper reporter. Most interviewers base this knowledge on your past accomplishments…so be prepared to brag!


But the HR interviewer is also looking for key “soft” skills you'll need to succeed in the job and organization, such as the ability to work well on teams or "the requisite common sense to figure things out with some basic training.” You can find out if you have these skills by taking a simple career assessment test. Know your strengths and weaknesses! 


      2.     Do You Belong? 

The interviewer is trying to pinpoint not only whether you match up well with both the company's and department's activities but also whether you'll complement the talents of your potential coworkers. Then there is that “Diversity and Inclusiveness quota” that must be maintained to make sure Sarbanes and Oxley don’t come unglued. 


     3.     Do You Understand the Company and Its Purpose? 

If the organization fits well with your career aspirations, you'll naturally be motivated to do good work there -- and stay more than a month or two. Companies do not want someone to take the position because it's a job and it fits their skills. The cost of hiring, recruiting, and orientation is way too high! Companies are looking for loyal employees.


     4.     How Do You Stack Up Against the Competition?

You're being evaluated in relation to other candidates for the job. In other words, this test is graded on a curve. So the interviewer will constantly be comparing your performance with that of the other candidates'. Know what the interviewer will ask…and should not ask.


     5.     Do You Have the Right Mind-Set for the Job and Company?

Employers want: can-do type of attitudes, someone who wants to be challenged and is internally motivated to do well. Attitude is something an employer can’t train an employee to have, but can fire you for not having it right!


6.     Do You Want the Job?

Most employers know better than to believe everyone they interview actually wants the position being offered. They understand some candidates are exploring their options, while others are using an interview with a company they don't care about to hone their interview skills.


The best way to prove that you want THAT job, with THAT company during an interview is to show that you’ve done your pre-interview “homework”. Know what you can offer the company!


Fill out these questions before your interview and know the answers by heart. You will have a lot more confidence when interviewing and a much better chance of landing that position.


By James Hamilton

Houston Workplace Examiner