What is it about an interview, regardless of the format, that makes it such a challenge? Group interviews in particular take people out of their comfort zones. In the past a lot of interviews were: you sit down, you're going through a Q&A session with someone from HR or a hiring manager. And you're thinking of it as a test, where you're going to pass and you're going to fail. And if you go into an interview with that mindset, you're not setting yourself up for success. Group interviews can be even more stressful because you can actually see your competition.
Interviews, particularly behavioral interviews that maybe happen on the front end, are moving towards more of a conversational approach. There are other ways for companies to get information they need out of a conversation rather than sitting there and drilling candidates endlessly on their experience. And if you go into an interview that is like that, that makes you uncomfortable, you have to think, is that a company that you really want to work for?
Candidates have more power in the process than they think. Whether you're an active job seeker, or someone that's simply unsatisfied in your current role, you should always be interviewing the company as well. And so when you have that power and understand that interviewing is a two way street, it takes away some of that nervous energy that makes interviewing processes so challenging and so nerve wracking for so many people.
Some people say it’s always easier to find a job when you have a job because there's no pressure. You can leave when you choose to, when you find the right fit, when you're ready. What about the people that are scrambling to find employment? What can they do better to make that a two way street? When you need a job, you have a different urgency, a different motivation. But it’s still vital to vet that opportunity, or you’re going to find yourself out looking for something else very shortly.
Whether you have a job or not, it’s essential to ask questions. One of the ways to be prepared for a interview is to have a list of questions that you can ask the hiring manager, or the HR representative, the recruiter, about their experience in the company and how the role fits in. Ask things like how does the company invest in learning and growth for employees? Describe the corporate culture. How does this role fit into the goals of the company? And things like that.
That is going to flip the narrative to give information to you as a job seeker that can help align the opportunity with what you're looking for as well. Just having those questions prepared and being ready to ask them shows that you are engaged in the process and interested in the process. And it will help bring you to the top of the funnel, when they're looking at finding the right fit for the company. So, absolutely ask questions.