What does an interviewer look for

Monday, July 11, 2011

What does an interviewer look for

As I remember, my days at a firm, where I was handed the task of recruiting individuals. It involved interviewing set of candidates, and then deciding who to choose, and whom to leave out.  It requires interview skills training. I always thought interviews to be extremely formal. But my stint as the one who was recruiting candidates for the job changed my perception.

Guide to Job interview answers

Candidates who appear for the interviews take this preconceived notion that they should be dressed formal, which they should, but appearing formal is just the beginning, and not everything. The process of interview starts with interview skills training, it begins with the right mental preparation that a person carries to the interview table. It starts long before the candidate sits on the interview table. A candidate, who has been picked in the initial screening, often believes that he will get the hot job. Little did he realize that he has to sit on the interview table, and face questions at the hands of the interviewer.

The first thing that an interviewer looks for is how serious a candidate is to get a job, from the time he enters the room and walks onto the table, an interviewer will glance at the candidate, and make a judgement about him. Most of the decision is taken during the short spilt second. An interviewer quickly decides whether this candidate is right for the job or not, and then he throws questions at the candidate accordingly, to prove that he is right.

Some candidates have an unusually deceiving appearance, they might look that they are not fit, but when a candidate answers on the interview table, the interviewer, to his surprise, finds him intelligent and fit for the job. His communication skills are highlighted, and he is able to communicate his point effectively across, to the interviewer. Such candidates carry high chances to get selected. Most of the candidates are selected because they have the ability to surprise the interviewer on the interview table. Not just to surprise, but also to show their talent that they fully understood the needs of the company, and the role, which is expected of them.

A candidate is advised to review the history of the firm before he goes for the interview. Some companies follow fixed set of principles while they select candidates. Again, a company also chooses a candidate according to the job position. Criteria of selecting a candidate for a HR position may be different from a sales or a marketing position. It doesn’t matter what position a person applies for, he should be able to show his interviewer what he is capable of. Remember, an interviewer is not interested in the past achievements of the candidate. Past achievements only serve as a teaser, and nothing else.  Some of the candidates are extremely confident of their academic qualifications, and think that they will be selected at every cost, which may not happen.

Many candidates stand on their past achievements, and they believe that it will serve as a buffer, when they appear for an interview. In the current crunch financial environment, an interviewer looks for a candidate who can prove that he has the expertise, and he is the one who can produce results for the company. These are the two most critical components an interviewer seeks in a candidate.

Many candidates have failed interviews even though they had the capability. A candidate should remember that there are 10 more talented individuals like him, and the job position is perhaps, only one. It is just that someone else was better than him on the interview table on that given day. A candidate should never assume that he does not have the necessary skills, but move on to find a job.

Due to tough economic times, the criteria of selecting candidates have also changed. Gone are the days, when there was only 1 exceptional person out of 100. In the present world,  there are at least 80 equally talented individuals out of 100, hunting for one job vacancy in a company, and, therefore, the process of selecting candidates have also changed. An interviewer goes beyond the brilliance of the candidate to appoint him. An interviewer is eager to choose only those who can bring added value to the company. He seeks candidates who are responsible, and willing to move beyond their given job responsibilities. A candidate, who gives the impression that he is ready to assume additional responsibilities if selected is the one who will get the job.

Author: Rajiv Sighamony.

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