I recently had an opportunity to part of an interview, which led me to reflect on the interviews I have given, and taken.
These are some high level transcripts of the interview (words and order not accurate):
- Do you have experience in working on “X” projects?
- Do you have experience in working on “X” feature of “X” software?
- Have you worked with “X” type of clients?
All “X” are specific references to specific software’s, projects and customers. As you might have guessed, the answer to all the above questions was “NO”, and the interviewer said he thinks there is a misfit in the profile, Sorry!!!
What do you think? You think the interviewer is going to find a perfect fit for the job anytime soon? In my opinion, he is not going to, not just anytime soon, but never. Guessing the motive of the interviewer, I guess its best to call the person whose exit created the vacancy, and hire him/her for a higher pay. Otherwise, his needs are not going to be fulfilled for a long time (maybe never).
An interview, in my opinion, needs to be a conversation to figure out if the prospective candidate has the potential to perform the role, and also a potential to take the role itself to the next level. What might also help is trying to find the potential of the person for larger roles than what is being interviewed for. If a person can only execute at a specific role or level, then it’s probably not a good investment considering the person might not be able to take initiatives and solve larger problems that might be encountered. He/she will only escalate, and not introspect.
For people giving interviews, I think its best we analyze the JD and present our ability to perform not just the role being interviewed for, but also larger roles, and a motivation to take the role itself to the next level. It might not work in many cases, but in the long run, I’m pretty sure it will. Its better we don’t approach an interview thinking it’s our dream job or company, there is no such thing. A job at best can be an enabler to achieve our larger dreams. That’s it!!!
A better set of questions to complement the above could be (but not limited to):
- What are your key strengths that you think will help you perform this role?
- What do you find as the biggest advantages of software “X”?
- What do you think are the most important dynamics to be considered while working with “X” type of clients?
And I’m sure many of us have such interview experiences, and all I can say (to myself too) is, don’t be disappointed if such an interviewer does not hire you. He/she does not have any vision for that role beyond execution of the role itself. Neither a good place to be in, nor a good leader to work for.
So, what do you think? How can interview sessions be structured for better results?