Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Turn the tables on your next interview

One of my good friends were talking about interviews yesterday and the process. What will they ask and how should I handle the questions he asked? I said to hell with that, ask these people questions, control the conversation based on information you want to know. In all of my radio interviews they don't give a rat's ass about what you've done. They are looking to find out what kind of fit you are for their dysfunctional workplace. It boils down to them asking questions about how you will fit, what you will accomplish and how you will handle yourself in the position you are applying for. They also want to know if you can perform the job. Especially in radio, when someone that is not qualified gets a programming position and then gets shot in the head in six months.

Once they get done with the obligatory "where do you see yourself in 5 years?" questions, I always love that and would love to answer it with "I am not a fortune teller, but a pretty decent program director". It's time to hit them up. Virgina Tech says this: Employers make judgments about you based on the questions you ask. Have you done your research on the organization? (If yes, good.) Are you asking rather dull questions that you could find in a web search, but about which you have no interest? (Not good.) Are you asking about salary? (Bad sign.) Are your questions intelligent and thoughtful and cordial? (Very good.) Here's a few more great questions from their web site:

What are the organization's/company's strengths and weaknesses compared to its competition?
How does upper management view the role and importance of this department and this position?
What is the organization's plan for the next five years, and how does this department fit in?
Could you explain your organizational structure?
What do you most enjoy about your work with this organization / company / agency?
How have various types of decisions been made?
What are the various ways employees communicate with one another to carry out their work?
How will my leadership responsibilities and performance be measured? By whom?
What are the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?
Could you describe your company's management style and the type of employee who fits well with it?
What are some of the skills and abilities necessary for someone to succeed in this job?
What is the company's policy on providing seminars, workshops, and training so employees can keep up their skills or acquire new ones?
What particular computer equipment and software do you use?
What kind of work can I expect to be doing the first year?
What percentage of routine, detailed work will I encounter?
How much opportunity is there to see the end result of my efforts?
How and by whom will my performance be reviewed? Are there specific criteria upon which I would be evaluated? And how frequently is formal and informal review given to new employees?
How much guidance or assistance is made available to individuals in developing career goals?
I read on the company / organization / agency website that employees have recently done presentations at XX conference. Is that a typical opportunity in the job for which I am interviewing? Are there specific professional organizations employees have been encouraged to join?
How much opportunity will I have for decision-making in my first assignment?
Can you describe an ideal employee?
What is your organization's policy on transfers to other cities?
Take charge of the interview and even if you don't get the position, you will know that you left no stone un turned in the process. This stuff will leave them with their heads spinning. 

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