Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tips from a Job Interview Pro

The Wall Street Journal had a very interesting Q&A last week with Sofia Faruqi who went on over 100 job interviews. I found her answers really interesting for not just job seekers but interviewers as well. You want to make sure that the job seeker feels comfortable with the questions you are asking but that you actually challenge them to answer important questions. Here are a few parts of the Q&A that I thought would be helpful for Human Resources and all who are interviewing to take notice of:
WSJ: Over the course of 100 interviews, you’ve been asked a lot of questions. Which ones caught you by surprise?
Faruqi: The ones that caught me by surprise were the ones that were either really good or really bad. Some of the best that I’ve been asked were: “What values did you grow up with? What makes you proud of who you are?” Also, “What’s the most exaggerated point on your résumé?”
WSJ: That last one is bold.
Faruqi It’s a good question, because all résumés have some level of exaggeration. It’s really good to just ask that outright. In terms of the worst questions, one was “Your resume says you speak French. So, let’s do this interview in French.” Another horrible one was, “Will you go out with me?” That only happened once, so it’s a very rare thing to happen, but not great. You always have to keep your composure, no matter what happens....
WSJ: The rest of your interviews would have been by phone or video. What are the challenges of those mediums?
Faruqi: In a phone interview it helps to remove distractions and put yourself in a position where you are focused. Right now, my office door is closed, so there are going to be no interruptions, my computer screen is blank, so there are no pop-ups or e-mails or other distractions. This way, I can focus on our conversation. 
That is some good advice there for both interviewers and their interviewees. For those who do a lot of interviews, do you have questions you try to use to surprise the candidate or do you try to keep the questions very basic? When you conduct a phone interview, do you make sure to eliminate all distractions as well or do you think that's only a requirement for the job seeker? Just a few things to think about the next time you have a job seeker at the other end of the table or the phone call.

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