I made it to a second interview today!!
It also helped that the interviewer was on point and knew her stuff.
For the first time in a while I didn’t have to chat too much about me (not fond of it) and instead was able to ask some great questions **see below** on what the problem was #mynewcompany needed a solution for.
Such a great experience.
I recently learnt that asking questions in an interview was a thing!
I had 2 questions during the q/a part of the interview. Both questions were formulated during the call but I did prepare some others ahead of time just in case. My two questions had to do directly with the company’s top two needs that were expressed during my chat. These needs were clearly identified to me by the interviewer. She was able to concisely tell me the developer needs even though she self claimed being non-technical. All of these things were contributing factors to an efficient discussion about the role. If the interview process is a glimpse into how they do things around here, then I am really looking forward to working with them.
Before I decided to find my dream job I was in the same job for 8 years and hadn’t interviewed in that long. So most of my previous interviews consisted of me asking questions just to ask. BAD, do not do!
Here are some things I did to formulate questions to ask in the interview.
I made sure to listen to points that the interviewer may have mentioned more than once. For example, if an interviewer says that the role involves answering a lot of phone calls, then says, it’s really important that you are wearing a head set because you will be on the phone a lot and THEN says, we get really busy with customers calling in a lot. It’s obvious that you will be answering the phone as a core task, so don’t ask about how often the phone rings. I know this is a really redundant example but trust me, it happens.
If you are having a Skype interview this can be awkward as you are constantly looking down instead of at the screen. In person taking notes is normal and on the phone its easy peasy. What’s most important is taking down notes for things about the role that were not mentioned in the job description and here is a life hack- if any names are mentioned. EX: “Our awesome Admin Becca, wrote our job description for us”, you now know one more person in the office to mention.
Having names of actual people in the office is great, you never know when it might be cool to say, “I can’t wait to meet Becca, anyone who can write such an awesome job description must be fantastic to work with.” Make it appropriate, not creepy.
Don’t go overboard
on the “what I can do for your company” statements/Be diplomatic when asked for criticism.
If someone doesn’t ask you for your opinion on what is wrong with their website, email campaign, marketing strategy or anything else, be really careful about offering it. I was told earlier this week by a shop owner that he eliminated a managerial candidate because the candidate was cocky, or that is how they came off. In all honesty, the candidate was probably just super excited and wanted to get started right away on improving things, but what the employer heard was, ‘I need to help you do things different around here so you can be successful’. Benign when you are expressing excitement about a job and how you are a fit, rude when you are the owner, CEO, founder etc of the product someone says needs improvement and implies you aren’t successful.
I struggle with reeling in my excitement all the time, but particularly in this journey. I want to help out so much that I spill all my secrets and fabulous ideas before I even get to the in-person interview. Do NOT DO THIS!
As my mentor and goddess among women Cheryl says, it’s like dating….you don’t get married on the first date, same for interviews.
In a nutshell, when you are asking questions in your first interview, make sure you ask questions that have something to do with a task that is relevant and that you genuinely want to know more about. Don’t just make shit up to hear yourself talk or because you are super excited and want to make sure that comes through. You want feedback that you had great energy, not that you were a spaz