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Think of the poor interviewer!

Written by: Claire Brandon
Published on: 15 Dec 2014

Interviewees tend to focus on their own feelings and trying not to mess up the interview. Let’s turn that around for a minute and think what is in the interviewers mind.

Usually they have two predominate thoughts (or three if you count trying not to screw up the interview!). Firstly they want you to be a great candidate because then they can relax a bit knowing they have found at least one good person or at least one they can add to the list they already have. They will also feel they did a good job if they choose you and you are a great performer in the role. 

The second predominate concern they have is fear - they are worried that if you will leave quickly or are really bad in the role then they will get the blame.

So the job of the interviewee is to show to the interviewer:

  1. I can and will do this job well
  2. I will fit in 
  3. I will stay for a reasonable period
  4. You will look great if you hire me

These points are like the sub text from a play. You don’t want to speak these out loud. They should be what is underneath each of your answers. As you give answers to the ‘normal’ questions you can subtly reinforce the sub text messages at the same time. Lets look at a couple of examples:

Q.  Tell me about yourself
This question is a great opportunity to illustrate some of the qualities you want them to know about you.  You can demonstrate that:

  1. You are a hard worker who has done their research on the company you want to join.
  2. You can indirectly point out that in your previous roles you have developed the skills that they are looking for in this role.
  3. You can show you have some of the qualities that they are looking for (or can deduce they will need)

Q.  What are your strengths?
Another great opportunity to show you understand what is required in the role and can articulate them and give examples of how you have applied them.

Q.  Where do you see yourself in 3/5/7 years time?
An opportunity to show you have thought about the role and are focused on the long term. You can show you are committed and enthusiastic.

In my next blog I will be showing how to answer some of the more tricky interview questions.