Job interviews can be an extremely stressful experience. There are still some interviewers who lack the knowledge of how to successfully conduct an interview. How can they ask a question to the applicant that will give them assurance that the applicant can do the job?
There are also interviewers who have only a general understanding of the skills required to adequately perform the job that is available. If you are placed in a job interview where the interviewer is less knowledgeable than you about interviewing procedures, what do you do?
Without letting on that you know more about the process than the interviewer does, you have to work and control the job interview. As you walk this tight rope, you must make your case that you are the most qualified applicant for the job.
An ineffective interviewer will attempt to bewilder you. They will not pay careful attention to your responses. They will not do much follow-up questioning and may not accurately outline the skills required to perform the job. The quality of their note-taking may vary, and they may go off on tangents discussing anything but your qualifications and how they fit the job requirements, potentially filibustering. This type of job interview could be a recipe for disaster, as someone with fewer qualifications may end up getting the job which you should be a shoo-in to obtain.
The challenge you have to face is how to effectively deal with both good and bad interviewers.
If you are prepared, the answer is simple when dealing with a good interviewer. Be prepared to respond to any and all inquiries they may ask. To ensure a successful job interview, be positive, smile, do thorough research into the company, ask pertinent questions, and have a well-prepared closing statement. After having several friends critique your taped mock interviews, you will be prepared.
You just have to be better when dealing with a poor interviewer. In order to be successful, it is essential to possess knowledge of and strategies for effectively communicating your qualifications as they relate to the job. You have to present the value and benefits of yourself so that the interviewer has no doubt that you are the most qualified candidate for the job.
You will need to be more skillful if the interviewer lacks basic interviewing skills. Without the interviewer realizing it, you need to steer the conversation. Some practice is needed in order to do this effectively.
Do not lose sight of your purpose for attending the job interview. Your aim is to secure a job offer.
By being well-prepared, you will be able to counteract any actions or inactions of a subpar interviewer. Here are some methods you can use to counter the effects of a poor interview.
Listen actively. Do not make assumptions about the interviewer before meeting them. Decide early on in the interview that you will have little time to answer or ask questions.
If the interviewer pauses slightly, seize the opportunity. In response to the interviewer's last statement about project management, jump in with a succinct account of a relevant achievement you had in project management. At the end of your answer, you could ask, “Is this the type of skill you’re looking for in the job?”
Pay attention if the interviewer keeps filibustering, and interject another relevant accomplishment at the first opportunity. You might also ask one or more questions that you had prepared where appropriate. Questions such as, "What is the number one challenge that must be addressed in the position?", "How does the job fit with other jobs in the department?", "Who had the job before and how long did they hold the job?" and "What happened to them?"
At the end of the interview, even bad interviewers may give you an opportunity to ask some questions. Ensure you have a few general inquiries regarding recent company growth, forthcoming company aspirations and tactics in terms of their effect on the job.
At the end of the interview, you will have the opportunity to summarize your qualifications. Emphasize how well your qualifications align with the company's requirements and the advantages and benefits you can offer to the job.
In closing, express your enthusiasm for the opportunity, and inquire about the timeline for a decision and who you should contact for follow-up.
Send a prompt thank-you letter emphasizing your close match for the job’s requirements and, finally, ask for the job, even though you had to do most of the work in the job interview.
In order to win the job, it may take skill and cunning to outwit a job interviewer who is not adequately prepared. Wasn't your goal when you went into the job interview to get a job offer?