Interviewing for a job is one of the more nerve wracking experiences in life. The entire balance of the meeting is out of place from any other interaction we have with other people in our lives.
The closest I can think of is a visit to a new doctor. You are typically made to sit in a waiting room and feel like you are being watched while you sit there. Forced to fill out byzantine forms, with information that is unnecessary to write out. Brought into a nondescript room and questioned, and then told we will be called with the results. I do not blame job seekers for disliking the interview process one bit.
Just like during a doctor's visit the intimidating process makes us forget that this is a give and take relationship. It is not meant to be one-sided, and we need to assert ourselves enough to ask the questions we have. How many times have you left a doctor's office wishing you had other answers? You get home and your friends and family are grilling you, did you ask this, did you find out that?
The awkwardness of the visit take us out of our comfort zone and the back and forth dynamic that is supposed to be there gets lost. We just start answering questions, and waiting for the person in charge to direct the conversation. Just like you have the right to ask questions of your doctor, you need to center yourself and remember that the job interview is as much your opportunity to learn about the business as it is a chance for the company to evaluate you.
The key to this is the same in an interview as it is at the doctor, bring written questions with you. Research and prepare prior to walking in to interview. Go on social media, review sites, the company site; 89% of HR managers are reviewing information from social media about applicants why aren't applicants doing the same for the business? We get so focused on preparing to answer questions, we forget to be ready to ask our own.
It may not feel like it, but this really can and should be a give and take relationship in the hiring process. Both an applicant and a business should be speaking to multiple possibilities and finding the best fit. Don't get lost in the process and let the interviewer be the only one actually investigating and considering their options.
Gregory Gershman - Managing Partner