As a recruiter, my main focus is all about getting candidates to one place: the interview. This means speaking about their needs, assisting with their resumes, drafting a compelling cover letter on their behalf, advocating to the places to which we’ve submitted them and then fully preparing them with a mock interview. After that point, most of my job is done. After all, I can’t go into the interview and answer the questions for them! (Although sometimes I wish I could)
Yes, there are some things I do after an interview to help a candidate land their dream job, but so much of the decision rests upon a candidate’s shoulders once it gets to that phase. I recently had a friend link to an article that Forbes did about the interview process and it proposes that there are really just three key interview questions:
- Can you do the job?
- Will you love the job?
- Can we tolerate working with you?
Overall, I’d have to agree with this summary. A prospective employer already has your resume and can see a basic picture of what you’ve done in the past. They’ve also likely seen your transcript and gotten personal feedback from your recruiter, if you are working with one. So, if they ask you in for an interview, they generally know that there is a high likelihood they’d like to hire you.
As you prepare for an interview, keep those three questions in mind and try to incorporate them into your answers to other questions. Obviously, most employers won’t ask any of those three questions outright, so it’s up to you to convince them that you can do the job even though you’re technically answering a question about your biggest weakness (everyone’s favorite interview question). And follow it up with reassuring them how much they’ll love working with you as you are smiling broadly and capturing their attention with an appropriate humorous story or two.
What it really comes down to is simple: they want someone who can do the work well, who will do it without complaint (and, gasp, maybe even an occasional smile), and who they don’t mind being stuck in the office with on a Saturday afternoon. Use this information to your advantage and lock down an offer every time you interview! Read the full article from Forbes here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/georgebradt/2011/04/27/top-executive-recruiters-agree-there-are-only-three-key-job-interview-questions/.