Three Best Practices for Interviewing
Some of my favorite professional words to hear are, “That interview went really well!” As a Technical Recruiter I cannot help prepare candidates with specific technical answers, but what I can do is help them succeed in an interview. The work we do here at Bravo LT is project-based work for our clients. Because of this, our team has to be the best technical minds in the world AND be able to convey that knowhow to our clients in a conversation or interview.
Below are three points I’ve found that can make any interview go smoother and help you get that next dream job.
1. A good interview is a conversation, a bad interview is an interrogation
We have all been part of an “interrogation” style interview. The group you are interviewing with starts hurling questions your way on different topics. It is chaotic and you can’t figure out if you are answering the questions well or if you are off base…it can feel a lot like a police interrogation. Similar to an officer trying to throw you off to see if you are telling the truth, the interviewers may be trying to throw you off to see if you really know what you are talking about.
So what do you do when you find yourself in this situation? Slow down, and ask questions! Typically professionals are proud of their work and want to talk about it. When someone asks you what you’ve done with X technology, answer them, come up for air, and then ask them how they use it. If you haven’t used the exact technology you are being asked about, share that, but express your excitement and if you can share something similar you’ve done. Now you are turning an interrogation into a conversation!
2. The less you talk, the better you will do! Wait.The less a candidate talks the better the interview results?!
Yes, you read that headline right. The less you talk, the better an interview can go. Now, I am not saying that you give one-word answers or stare at the interviewer until they answer their own question. What I am suggesting is to keep your answer conversational. An answer should be 1-2 minutes in length. I always suggest that you imagine you are going underwater when you start answering a question. When you’d need to come up for air is about the time you should ask if what you are saying is resonating with the interviewers. Something like, “does that answer your question?” or “Are there more details you’d like to know regarding that situation?”. That will give you a natural pause to get affirmation around your answer and a change to make it conversational. Also, ask the interviewer how they apply what they are asking you. Ask them to share as well. It will make you look thoughtful and engaged while allowing them to answer their own questions.
3. ASK! Don’t leave with unanswered questions that will not allow you to make a good decision about your future.
Part of my job after a client interaction with a Bravo Teammate or after a candidate talks to a client is a debrief. One of my last questions is always, “Given what you know about Bravo, our client, and the role, would you accept the project today if offered to you?” 50% of the people I ask that question to cannot answer the question because they have unanswered questions. When you get the right people in the room, ask the questions you need to know. Interviews are a two-way street, so interview them as much as they are interviewing you.
What did I miss on my list of best interview practices?
Written by Bill Osborn, Director of Technical Recruiting