As experienced hiring managers know, an interview is a two-way street. While most of the focus is on finding out if the candidates are right for the job, candidates are also wondering if the company is right for them.
However, candidates can be at a disadvantage. Many can find interviewing their interviewer a bit tricky. They may not feel comfortable putting the hiring authority on the hot seat, or asking them to clarify or elaborate on answers to their questions.
Yet whether prospective employees are interviewing for a full-time job, contract work, or temporary placement, they need information to make sure they are pursuing the right opportunity for them.
The employer and employee are always in a work relationship, and like any relationship, it only works if it works for both parties.
At The Bagg Group, we work with clients to how to interview candidates– and be interviewed by them — so that both people in the room truly get to know each other’s situation better. The result is almost 58,000 happy people placed over our 40-plus year history.
Here are three key tips from the staffing solution experts at The Bagg Group on how to answer questions when the table turns, and your interviewee becomes your interviewer:
Give candidates concrete examples of expectations and culture at your organization: Many times, interviewers just offer a short headline answer to a question about life in the workplace. For example, they may say, “we have an open door policy.” But just as you want interviewees to share examples of how they handle certain situations – they would like examples of your expectations and way of doing business. What example could you offer to show what an open door policy looks like in your workplace?
Avoid generic terms: For example, a “ collaborative” culture can mean different things to different people. To ensure the candidate is a good fit for your team, it’s useful to provide details so there are no misconceptions. It’s more interesting to the interviewee to learn how your team, or organization, fosters collaboration.
Similarly, a “free flow of information” is only meaningful to a potential employee when it is described more fully. Does the CEO hold regular town halls, are there cross-departmental committees, what vehicles exist to promote an info exchange?
Tell a story: You will never have a more captive audience for your stories about the culture of your organization than an interviewee. Of course, you don’t want to share anything that you would not want repeated. But it tells the employee a lot about your company if you tell a story or two about your team typically team celebrates a win, for example. As well, telling your own story about why you enjoy the workplace gives a true sense of what life is like at your company.
At The Bagg Group, we know that a great interview happens when both parties consider the needs and interests of each other. That’s when you get an exchange of information that really helps you figure out if you’ve found your match.