Take The Power From The Interviewer
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Know your power and the questions that should never be asked by an interviewer
When interviewing for a job you often feel like you are at the mercy of the interviewer. Often times it feels like they are sitting in judgment of all your hard work and accomplishments. The power you feel they have to change the course of your career makes you nervous. You know this position could make a profound difference in your life.
Unfortunately, you have some interviewers who see themselves in a position of power and treat the candidate applying for the position as a peon begging for a spot at the table. I actually escorted a candidate to a hiring manager’s office for a 10:00 interview. The manager was working on their computer when we arrived at 10:00. She asked for a minute. After ten minutes went by I stuck my head back in her office. Annoyed, she asked for an additional five minutes. Those five minutes turned into twenty. She finally came out into the hallway and rudely said in front of the candidate, “I don’t have time for this today.”
As the recruiter who brought this person in and told them so many good things about the company, I was embarrassed. This was no way to treat a candidate interviewing for a job. This person had taken time off from work, rearranged their schedule only to be treated poorly by a professional organization. I know of another example where a hiring manager, who prided himself on being a member of Mensa , would try to make candidates feel intellectually inferior if they didn’t see things his way. He told one candidate his five year old could have answered a question that the candidate stumbled on.
Candidates should recognize they have just as much power and the interviewer. Interviews should be two way conversations. Just as that hiring manager is quizzing you about your education, work experience and skills, you should also be quizzing them about the job, what it takes to successful in the role, the culture of the company, it’s stability, how to get promoted etc. If the answers to your questions are not in line with your expectations and goals, you have the power to say this job isn’t for me.
Also, if you find yourself in situations like the ones I outlined above, where the hiring manager portrays themselves in less than a favorable light, take this as an early warning sign, take the power from them and decide if this is someone you would want to work for.
When interviewing for a position there are certain questions interviewers should never ask. Asking these questions could get the company in legal trouble. Below are some examples .
1. Questions regarding race, religion or ethnicity should not be asked
2. Questions regarding the origin of the candidates name should not be asked
3. Never ask a candidate when they graduated from high school or college
4. Never ask if a candidates has or is planning to have children; Do not engage them about children if they volunteer information
5. Do not comment on a person’s accent
6. Do not ask questions regarding a person’s medical history even if they volunteer information about an illness
7. Do not ask questions regarding a person’s sexual orientation
Know your power. Remember a company should be trying to impress the talent it is trying to recruit, just like you are trying to make a good impression. Their top priority should be making the candidate experience a professional one.