Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Unprepared Interviewer

Jessica Mintz highlights a topic pertinent to all job-seekers in today's WSJ - (CareerJournal section, page B4):
What to do when the interviewer is unprepared?

I've seen it happen many times - the manager gets busy and fails to take the appropriate time to review the resume prior to the interview. Worse still, the manager doesn't have a structured interview prepared and spends the better part of an hour "winging-it."

I've blogged considerably about the responsibility of the interviewee to prepare adequately for the interview - same goes for the one with the questions; there is no substitute for preparation.

Worse case scenario, what should the interviewee do when faced with the uprepared interviewer? David Schmier, the founder of GetHired.com says, "...a good interviewer should be trying to extract three pieces of information from candidates:

1) whether they fit into the company's culture
2) whether they can do the job
3) whether they will be likeable and have a good relationship with their co-workers

That said, what should the interviewee do? For starters, don't remain passive.

Carole Martin, founder of Interviewcoach.com, says, "...when faced with an unprepared interviewer, the worst thing a candidate can do is remain passive and then leave without having stated why he or she is the perfect choice for the job.

Martin suggests taking charge with a sentence such as, "I know your time is limited. Can I give you some information about this job and myself?"

Then, the candidate can guide the interviewer through a conversation which focuses on answering Schmier's 3 points (above). It can be an uphill battle, but if the job is highly desirable, it's worth the effort.

Now, do your homework and go get 'em.

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