In entertainment, a casting director has already developed an opinion within the first ten seconds that you enter the room. While you are only given about two minutes for an audition, the rest of the working world functions a little bit differently. Even so, a normal interview can last anywhere from twenty minutes to an hour, and within this small blocked out amount of time it is up to you to make a lasting and positive impression.
Hiring managers often make a huge mistake by not allowing enough time to get to know the person they are seeing, meaning by the time you have just finished that cup of coffee they offered you, you could be out the door. When this happens, candidates don’t learn enough about the company, culture, and people they meet in order to make their own career decision.
Why do we interview? To put it simply, the purpose of this interview is for both people to get to know each other. The interviewer needs to learn about the qualities of a candidate that could make them a match for the job, but just as importantly, if he or she will fit into the company culture and environment. The interviewee needs to determine what is job really is about, outside of the generic job description they were sent a week ago, and whether they like the company and whom they will be working for. Half an hour is enough time to tell if you do not like someone, but it is usually not enough time to truly find out if a candidate if right for a job.
Paul Gumbinner, a recruiter and veteran advertising manager, has a few effective interview tips and techniques when conducting one:
As suspected, he makes a judgment about the candidate within a minute or so of meeting him or her, and it is up to them to either change his opinion or sustain it. An initial supposition is often based on dress, demeanor, handshake (remember no dead fish!), posture, and presence. Even so, there is still room for reversal of an initial impression.
The interviewer should talk about one-third of the time, allowing a dialog to be established and a free flow of conversation and information. Ultimately, he believes that an interview should never be like speed dating. If either party is too busy to conduct a proper interview, the meeting should be cancelled or continued at another time.
Overly scheduled interviews, work against both parties. The candidate becomes disconcerted with whom they met, or what was discussed, and the interviewers barely have time to truly reach into the candidate’s background before it’s time to move on. Additionally, feedback is essential, as you don’t want a potentially ideal candidate to lose interest because you became overwhelmed with interviews.
Nobody wants a poor hire, and nobody wants to be miserable in his or her job. Let’s avoid disappointment on both ends, look away from the clock, have a cup of coffee, and get to know one another.