4 Signs you are working with an Inexperienced Interviewer

4 Signs you are working with an Inexperienced Interviewer

Ever been in a poorly structured interview where no one is taking control?  If no one is taking control of your interview, you might not get the job. Here are 4 warning signs to recognize an inexperienced interviewer, and how to professionally handle it.

I am a firm believer that the person who is conducting the interview, should be the “Host” and lead the conversation.  The burden should be on them for “taking control of the interview”, but that does not come naturally to an inexperienced Interviewer.  If you are starting to get the feeling that there is no leadership ranking in the room, you will need to step-up to the plate.

Here are 4 Signs you are working with an Inexperienced Interviewer

  1. They start the interview with “Soooo, tell me about yourself” This is an awkward question to ask when you don’t know how to start.
  2. They are nervous, reading from a script and a little unsure of how to take control of the interview.
  3. They might not be listening to your actual answers.
  4. The interviewer is just tired of talking with you and has already mentally checked you off as not a match for this role.

Make sense? Great!! So how do you fix it?

If it is #1 and you get the dreaded “tell me about yourself question, it is your time to shine or flop! This is one of the worst interview questions ever and often just a sign of inexperience.  Many candidates could talk all day and never hit on what they are looking for.  Give 60-90 second synopsis starting with your first job, just hitting on the skills you picked up, selected accomplishments- but be careful not to ramble.

If you think you are working with option 1 or 2, then you should be able to help this person along in the interview. Maybe throw in a “Great Question!” compliment to put them at ease.

PRO TIP: In almost every case, a major factor in the client’s decision is whether the client feels comfortable with you as a person. The Hiring Manager is terrified of making a poor hiring decision.  You need to tend to their needs before you focus on your own.

You want to spend as much time, in the beginning, discovering what they are looking for so that you can properly “sell” your skills.  Find out about the role, the upcoming job challenges, the team, the company’s long-term plans, the current struggles they are facing, and who the ideal candidate may be. ONLY after you have obtained this list of job knowledge do you start selling your relevant skills so that they see what you can bring to the team.  Without this vital action, you could be talking all day about things that are of no relevance to what they need. “Don’t sell a Porsche to someone looking for a Dependable MiniVan” as I say. Know what they NEED out of the right talent for the role.

Try to ask them questions about the role, the company, how long they have worked there and why they like working there.

If it is Option 3 you need to probably shorten your answers.  The golden rule is that the person that did the most talking will think the meeting went better than the listener.

If it is option 4, you are probably not getting to the next level so move forward with a closing question such as “What concerns do you have about my ability to be successful in this role?”.   I have seen this question completely reverse the assumptions. Maybe they have not even figured out why they don’t see you as a good match. This gives you control to address any concerns.

If you can recognize the signs that your interviewer is not as strong in the skill of conducting an interview, you will have an advantage over all other candidates like no other. You will be able to now, get them talking about what they are buying, with you selling your matching skills, and give them confidence. Now… they absolutely want you on their team…great job!

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