Here are a few examples of things that need to improve from the perspective of both the employer and employee within a job interview. The facts written below come from real world experience and will help to point out a few things you may not have thought about when in an interview.
The Employer – The Red Flags
If flogging managers and HR departments was still legal, then this is the one offence that they should be flogged for. A red flag is that little voice in your gut that say, “No, not this one.” And, frankly it comes through simply talking to the employee. It comes from intuitively steering the conversation into areas that may not have been planned for by the interviewer. You have to wait for that little red flag to appear because the more the person talks then the more likely it is to appear.
It is insidious, but all it takes is talking and perception. For example, one young lady interviewed for a job at a photoshop. She was very nervous and very young, but the work was underpaid so she was ideal, however, after prodding around about sick days she did mention that she was epileptic, which is a red flag for working in a Photoshop with the chance of flash photography.
Another example was of a young man. After speaking a little about his hobbies (which were absent) the conversation causally moved to his personal life. It didn’t take long to find out that his girlfriend had left him because he smokes too much weed, which is a red flag.
The Interviewee – Not Asking About The Job
This is a bit of a stickler for the informed and pragmatic person. A pragmatist would research the job and role before attending the interview. However, the employer is going to assume you know very little and will misconstrue your lack of questions as a lack of interest.
If you do ask questions then you are faced with the other side of the coin. The employer is going to assume that you know very little about the business because you were not interested enough to do any research about it. How do you get around this? You ask about employee perks.
You ask about things that no normal everyday person should know, but that an employee should know. Plus, what you are subtly doing is qualifying the employer. You are very subtly saying, “Why should I consider working for you?” which is far better than it appearing you know nothing about the company.
If you really want to start impressing, then ask about future promotional opportunities. Ask if other people have started in your position and moved up to higher places. This sort of question shows both a willingness for the job and a premeditated lust for the work.
The employer – The interviewee avoids direct answers on some subjects
This is a very clever trick done by people all the time, and it is up to you to spot it within an interview setting. It is where the other person answers a question honestly, but does not actually answer the questions you posed. It is often a trick done by people who have something to hide, and if they have something to hide then this is a red flag as mentioned earlier.
Here are a few examples of answering honestly without answering the question:
Question – Were you ever off work over the last three years?
Reply – I have not had a day’s illness in the last five years.
See what happened. The reply was about illness. It says nothing about days the person skipped without being ill, or days for fake funerals. The reply is honest, but it doesn’t answer the question.
Question – Why did you leave your last job?
Reply – I stopped working on the 5th of February after they finished reorganizing my department.
Again, what was said was probably honest, but it makes no mention of him leaving. He could have been forced to leave, he may have quit without notice. He mentions the reorganization as if to imply it was the reason he left, but he is not explicitly saying it, nor is he answering the question posed.
If you press the person for an answer then a common response is anger. Another common response is accusation being thrown around. Kids are the best examples of this. You ask if the kid has done his homework, the answer is vague so you press for a better answer and you hear things such as:
“Why does nobody trust me?”
“You never ask Kate stuff like this?”
“You are always picking on me for this”
“You never did any work at school”
“Danny’s mum never bullies him”
All of these are examples of anger and accusation being thrown at the person doing the questioning. If the interviewee starts to respond in this manner then he or she is hiding something and you should not hire him or her.
The Interviewee – You Have No Life Beyond Work
Many people neglect to talk about their private life enough. Employers are used to people reeling off all of the reasons that they should work for the company and why they are perfect for it. But, the employer wants to know that you are a rounded human being, that you are not maladjusted or unhinged. That is why it is a good idea to mention your personal life when you tell them about yourself.
Do you have a spouse, lover, partner, kids, pets, part time jobs?
Do you work for charity? Do you pay frequent visits to your mother across state?
Do you go swimming? Do you prefer a certain variety of book?
The employer may also be looking for signs that you are not very personable and friendly with other people, so it is very clever to slip in mentions of community work. Mention your friends too and how well you all get along together as it gives you a little social credibility.