What makes a great job interview? | INFJ Forum

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Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by slant, Feb 10, 2021.

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  1. slant

    slant M O U L T I N G
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    Let's discuss this on both sides.

    As a person being interviewed, the interviewee, what are things you do during a job interview? What are your expectations from the person interviewing you?

    Second layer: for those of you who have conducted job interviews, what are you looking for? What are things that you do at the person interviewing? What have you observed people who are being interviewed that you liked or disliked?

    Feel free to add more information than what has been asked.
     
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  2. Daustus

    Daustus Meatbot

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    As interviewee:
    I ask a lot of questions about the opening. I ask about specific role responsibilities and expectations. I ask about the Team and structure. I also ask about what the team/role needs or is missing. I ask about the training and onboarding plan. I ask about the current workload and future projects. I'm trying to gauge what I'm walking into.

    Interviewer:
    I ask about times projects or work that went wrong. What was learned.
    I ask about future career goals and what an ideal day looks like.
    I ask about what interests the interviewee about this position.
     
  3. Winterflowers

    Winterflowers Community Member

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    When interviewed I like feeling them out, what my work environment will be like. I like knowing what they expect of me, how they feel about their job, and what the job is like - is it fast paced? do people come & go often? I also love asking random questions about my surroundings like "what does this do?" "that acronym, it stands for this doesn't it?" "so if we were to do x then we'd expect y, right?".

    My interviews were often busy (understaffed) so I took that time to walk them through some of the basic work we'd be doing. Again feeling them out was important to me - are they a fast learner? do they look engaged? do they feel like they'll upset my team's balance?
    There's only so much we can learn from people through prolonged first-encounters. A lot of hiring is hit & miss. One of my favorite things to do was, I'd ask a prospective employee to run with me down to a dollar store across the parking lot, and if they did I'd buy them a drink, and we'd run back. Sometimes we raced, and other times we talked about stuff on our way there. Their attitude by the end gave me a good impression how they approached & felt about work or the job. And it was fun too ^_^
     
  4. Learner

    Learner Regular Poster

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    Authenticity....I wanted to see that first if possible. Then I would look at their work experience and try to put myself in their life's position. And then ask questions to myself before asking of them...is this a good move for them, and us? where would they best fit in our organization regardless of the position they are interviewing for? Is this a place they could grow into a position that was beneficial to them and us? I also wanted to be in a position that if they were not approved for the position we asked and they called me to wonder why, I would be able to provide them information that was helpful to them in their next move.
     
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  5. Learner

    Learner Regular Poster

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  6. Sometimes Yeah

    Sometimes Yeah Community Member

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    I've interviewed a few people for my small business.

    I guess the main things I'm trying to test in an interview is whether the person is easy to communicate with (efficient communication is important for me, but might not be for other employers), whether their ego can handle being told what to do, whether they're diligent and reliable, and finally, whether they're likely to remain in the job long-term.

    It's a big expense, hiring someone, and like buying an expensive car, you don't want a bunch of headaches for the outlay. Almost any adjective you can apply to a good car to buy, you can apply to an employee: efficient, quiet, reliable, low maintenance, versatile, etc.
     
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  7. noisebloom

    noisebloom theory conspirer
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    When I interview candidates, I'm usually trying to assess if they actually understand the technical material vs. regurgitating it. It's important that someone in a technical role has a good intuitive foundation... I also check for red flags regarding communication and how they might work with others. Software candidates tend to be really introverted so I don't really expect much gregariousness, but I've interviewed a couple grumpy-pants types that I was a hard pass on.
     
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  8. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    Positive job interviews for me have been ones in which I am knowledgeable, experienced and passionate in the position/field. Then I speak confidently about those things as relevant to the position and it feels like joining forces. Best have been where the interview is more like a conversation with people I share a mission or goal with. I'm no good at bullshitting or schmoozing. So if the conversation flows naturally it's good.

    It's been a long time since I interviewed but I'd try to get a feel for the culture. Is it laid back, fast paced? Are employees given autonomy or micromanaged? Do people seem easy going or stressed out?

    Any job I've ever had I applied because I cared about some aspect. Even the entry level ones. I expect that the interviewer will be professional and knowledgeable and ethical yet approachable and friendly. But I have had interviews where it seemed good until the person interviewing me was asking me to commit to something I couldn't commit to doing (Bringing a number of my clients over. I couldn't assure that because it's the client's choice not mine and I'm not going to pressure anyone into anything.) It's considered solicitation and I'm not in sales but human services so that was a pass for me.
     
    #8 acd, Feb 11, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2021
  9. Korg

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    When being interviewed: be on time, be prepared. Also, let's not kid ourselves: this is about work and money, not friendship so we don't have to be super cool with each other and you don't have to try hard to "build rapport". Mostly, I care about the work and how much autonomy I'm going to be given -- that's it. I'll even compromise on salary for increased autonomy because it's that necessary for me. I can not work in places where there are direct managers over me and I'm actually pretty upfront about this because they need to know it, too. There's no use pretending it would be a good fit. Most of the time, I'm being hired for leadership / senior positions anyway so it's a moot point.

    I like to hear about their problems. I will ask something like: "what are your three biggest problems that you need help solving? What is something you dislike about this place that you wouldn't want candidates to know?" It's cool if you can spend time discussing a real problem and offer potential solutions. Then everyone gets a feel for how it might actually go when you're in the trenches doing something. Being wooed by their fucking in-house chef or awards wall.. I don't care about any of that.


    If I'm interviewing, it's a whole other thing. It really depends on what is needed and when.
     
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  10. Ren

    Ren Pin's android / Baroque Spinoza / ≅ INFP

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    Great thread, slant. People have covered a lot of good ground here so I'll only add bits that seem relevant to me/my experience.

    Like @Korg I care a lot about autonomy, so I'll ask questions to make sure the job being offered doesn't involve excessive supervision. I've had a few experiences where too little autonomy led me to burn out / quit my job early, so I don't want to repeat that experience. It's interesting to emphasise that because there are a lot of people for whom too much autonomy is stressful. Well, for me it's the opposite. The more autonomy the better. But again, this is not meant to be general advice. Some people prefer working in highly structured environments with regular supervision from above.

    I'll also want to ask if there will be opportunity to get involved in strategy--which is not always a given because I'm a relatively junior manager.

    I work in international cooperation so I specialise in relationship building, which means I'll be excited if the employer is ambitious on that front. Concretely, I'll want to make sure there are new relationships to be built and I'll be the one spearheading that. I want to make sure I'll be adding value (because, unlike @Korg, my job is not ultimately about making money since I work for a government), not filling in some position that needs to be filled where the portfolio is already determined in advance with not a lot of maneuvering possible.

    I also like to get a feel of what the atmosphere in the team is like, although it's not easy to tell from interviews alone. But Ni can help with this.
     
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  11. OP
    slant

    slant M O U L T I N G
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    Thank you everybody for your thoughtful replies. I am going to respond, then add my own thoughts to the mix.

    This is something I specifically will look for as an interviewer; that the interviewee is engaged and having expectations for me. So often, young people I think are a bit more inclined to this, the power dynamic is the desire to impress the interviewer but there is lack of forethought which goes like this: is this job a fit for me? People want jobs but don't think about what the reality of that job is or what they want in a job. So far in interviewing, I have only seen this with a couple of people and it's always a delight.

    Again this goes along the lines of what I was saying before. The interviewee has a lot of responsibility to suss out the job, too, and I appreciate seeing this effort being made. Too often the interviewee is passive and not giving a sort of active interest in what the position is actually like, but blindsided by trying to "get" the job without much consideration as to whether they actually will enjoy it or not. It makes you question- has this just not occurred to them to do, do they not feel it's their place to ask questions like that, or are they not aiming to land a job where they will have longevity- is this 'just a job' for them?

    This is a HUGE one for me. Too often I see people hamming it up on interviews, putting their best foot first. I can tell when people are doing this and it makes them seem like somebody I can't trust. It's strange that we are given the advice in society to put on this front, and maybe in extremely professional, competitive fields this is something that works, but in the types of jobs I've worked we are really looking for a personality we can work with day to day and the fake job interview personality interferes with our ability to accurately assess that. Secondly, yes, as the interviewer I think there is a duty to look out for the person who is interviewing and imagine if they were employed with you. If it's a position where you want longevity then you need to think about what this person's goals are and how we can meet them. It's tricky because you don't really know them and are only guessing but it's the best you can do.

    I think this speaks to how different roles are going to require different things and there is no one-size-fits all. Depending upon the position and company culture each interview is (ideally) going to vary wildly in accordance with what information you are trying to suss out, whichever is the most valuable for the role in question. In turn, as the person being interviewed, understanding as much as you can about the role and culture before you interview really helps you to present yourself in favor of this.

    You seem pretty apt at understanding what you want in a work place (most people seem to have no clue) which gives you the advantage of placing yourself where you will actually be comfortable. And again, this speaks to, if you know what you want as the person being interviewed you can convey that intent by asking probing questions that I am generally impressed with whether the candidate works out or not; you're trying to figure out if we're a good fit too, so clearly, that's a great trait. And I share your desire for a laid back personable workplace so this quality of a 'conversation' interview vs 'interrogation' interview is also what I look for.

    Yep, people often fail to ask negative qualities or hypothetical challenging situations but these can be key to see how people respond both in if they are being honest or again hamming it up, and if they're honest, understanding if they truly could be a fit for the role or not.

    Thanks, Ren. Again this shows a high level of self awareness and desire to find a job that fits, and it's actually not as common as you think it would be. I find these types of candidates are more likely to find a place they vibe in vs those who are just aiming to get the job at whatever cost to them.
     
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  12. OP
    slant

    slant M O U L T I N G
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    Ok, my thoughts.


    THE RESUME
    I think the process of the job interview begins with the resume. Unfortunately I don't have experience in being able to pick the resumes, but what my sense has always been is that you want a resume to stand out. Many jobs will make you fill out their resume template and I understand why in technical fields that may be beneficial, but I don't like that.

    The resume can tell you a lot about the person. My resume for example includes a headshot of myself and is colorful with borders and fancy headings and lots of other bells and whistles. It has given me a huge advantage over other candidates- I am almost always told by the person interviewing me how it stood out and impressed them. Many people put 'references available upon request' but I always give my references along with letters of recommendations and other backup documents. It may seem like overkill, but my feeling is, I am trying to show who I am, which is a very detail oriented thorough person, and I am trying to find a place to work I want an employer who is going to be looking for ME, not somebody I'm masquerading as.

    THE INTERVIEW PANEL
    The structure of your interview panel is just as important as the interview itself. I find that it's good to have more than one person present in the interview, even if it is intimidating. Some companies do rounds of interviews with a candidate and this might work for more professional roles where they want to eliminate and only give the 'best' candidates to interview with higher ups.

    But I have found this format works, where you have at least one person who is 'at the same level' as the candidate if they will be working on a team, then you have the team lead or whoever they will directly report to, and then the head of the department and in my job specifically, the boss of my boss is also present. So that's usually 4 to 1 but it does work out.

    INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
    I always keep a list of interview questions, as both the interviewer and interviewee. As the interviewee I tend to go overkill with questions, I make sure I have a ton so that when they ask if I have any questions it becomes like an interrogation to the people interviewing me. I am not sure if this is just my funny bone at play or what but it is actually effective. Many seemed stunned by the technique but in my experience the reaction overall is positive and the person feels I am prepared. I have not seen others utilize this technique to the degree I do, so I don't know how I would react if I saw it.

    The quality of questions should be about if both of us are good fits for each other.

    Depends on the role but as interviewer I am trying to find out:

    Is this person going to stay with the company? (Our roles strive for retention)

    Can this person grow in the company?

    Does this person fit the culture of the team that we have cultivated?

    Will this person be happy in this role?

    I will ask a series of silly questions at the end of an interview to display our company culture and try to gauge for if they fit it or not. This also tends to give people a feel-good ending for the interview and a positive impression of our company which spreads, even if they do not get the role in question.

    As the person being interviewed:

    Are the people interviewing me being authentic or presenting a false ideal of themselves and the position?

    What is the company culture like?

    What is the turnover rate?

    What are the benefits?

    How do the current employees feel about the position?

    What are the most challenging aspects and are these acceptable to me?

    Do I get along with the people that work there in general, especially the superiors?

    Is this a place where I can grow, does it give me what I need to be content?

    As others have mentioned I find a conversation style interview to be the most effective. You want it to feel organic. Yes, I come prepared with questions but it is never the question you ask that is helpful- it is the follow up questions. Listening carefully to the responses and knowing which rabbit holes to pursue is extremely fruitful. If you can make jokes and get people to relax and share your own experiences and give the impression that you're just a person like them, you can sometimes get the advantage of them letting their guard down.

    This is incredibly important on both sides. You do not want stiff professionalism unless that is how it is going to be at the job day after day. You want to get to know this person because if you end up working together for 20 years you're going to want them to be a pleasant person that works well within your company. Nerves and fronts will prevent you from accurately seeing who this person is and often hiring the wrong person.

    Ending with when you will contact them about the position and giving a concrete date or timeframe is important. If I am interviewed and don't get this, I ask.

    POST-INTERVIEW
    Meeting with those present in the interview to discuss pro's and cons of each candidate. If it's just you, taking aside time to do this in a concentrated manner where you are not distracted.

    As the person who is interviewed you can send a thank you card for having been interviewed. It is old fashioned and doesn't mean you'll get the job, but again: makes you stand out. Secondly, if they never gave you a time they would get back to you or it comes and passes, CALL them. Harass them. My experience with this has always been positive because it shows initiative. There is no harm in wanting to know if you got the job or not so you know whether to move on.

    I might have more thoughts later, but so far, this has been my experiences. I really like interviewing people. I was surprised by that.
     
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  13. Ren

    Ren Pin's android / Baroque Spinoza / ≅ INFP

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    Oh yeah, completely agree. But this is the result of experience as well. I've been one of those candidates who are "just aiming to get a job at whatever cost". I learned the hard way!

    It's also good, in general, to give the interviewer the impression that you're seeking to learn as much about them as they are about you. It shows that you are sure of yourself and of what you want, and that you have a personality.
     
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  14. SpecialEdition

    SpecialEdition Well-known member

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    Lol if I was asked to run across the street to a dollar store I would know immediately the job wasn't for me.
     
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  15. SpecialEdition

    SpecialEdition Well-known member

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    I love interviews. I know some people feel they have to go overboard to prepare for an interview but that's just not my personality. When I go into an interview I can say whatever needs to be said to get the job but what I'm doing is trying to feel out whether or not I'm going to get what I want. I like a specific kind of environment and I work well within a specific team structure. I am my best when I can have as much freedom as possible in an already established framework. I like to go in, see what needs to be fixed, get it fixed and then move on to the next thing. Otherwise I feel stagnant and bored. In the interview I actually try to avoid talking about the specific details of the job as much as possible. I try to gear the conversations towards whatever issues exist in the department and what gaps need to be filled so that I can provide solutions. I'm looking to see where any weaknesses are and use them to my advantage so that I can move ahead. I need to get a sense of who the leadership is and whether or not I can get what I need from them. I have no interest in just being another number on the payroll. This usually works really well for me. I generally don't care about what I have to do day to day in the job. I'm trying to figure out if I can use the job to get ahead down the road so there are a lot of things that don't matter to me.

    In my industry the foundational knowledge is all the same. I work in international trade. If you've worked in the business and you understand what Customs needs, then you're probably going to be fine. I have not had to conduct an interview in this industry as of yet as I'm just recently breaking into management and I just haven't had the opportunity so I can't answer this.
     
  16. Learner

    Learner Regular Poster

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  17. Learner

    Learner Regular Poster

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    Special Edition--you raise some great points--interviewing is a two-way street. It also seems that you know our likes/dislikes really well. That's so important in seeing the opportunities to leverage your strengths. You make some very thoughtful comments. Thanks.
     
  18. Winterflowers

    Winterflowers Community Member

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    Success! that's how it's supposed to work.
    Though it'd be a shame too, you'd be a great employee around.
    This makes sense to me. It's a two-way street like @Learner says.
     
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  19. philostam

    philostam Permanent Fixture

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    I also love interviews. I never interviewed, but I am sure I'd enjoy it too, probably even more.

    What I found is that I should not listen anyone for advice. In the past I used to ask either an INFJ or ENFJ for advice, and they always gave me something that was right for their personality type. When I did it, it felt totally out of character, and so I wasn't at my best. In interviews, more then anywhere else, I think it's crucial for people to act in accordance with their character.

    I don't like selling myself too much, but I find this isn't a problem. I don't like selling myself because I am never content fully with myself. I always think I could have more education, more experience, more knowledge, whatever. I guess we could call that low self esteem, I don't know. But I just don't go overboard with that. So what I do is just to be open and objective. If I don't have a specific skill they are asking, I just tell them - but also underline that I am a fast learner and I become obsessed until I learn it.

    I try to present that I am comfortable with who I am, without trying to sell myself too much to them. I strike for a good balance of self esteem and being 'realistic'.

    My approach worked so far, but I cannot say I was applying for some super high skilled positions. It also tends to works better if HR manager is a male. I remember for my first job the HR manager was an ExTJ male, and my approach clicked with him immediately. I was hired on the same day, which he told me is not a regular practice at all.
     
  20. Aneirin

    Aneirin AKA, David
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    As one who has interviewed hundreds during my career...
    Be on time. Be clean. Be honest, because I will find out if you lie. Know about my organization and why you want to work for me. It always amazed me how many could not really tell me why they wanted to work here. Meet the stated basic requirements, don't waste my time of you don't. Be yourself, and most importantly, relax and be real.
     
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