Monday, January 30, 2006

Job-seekers, interviews, and thoughtful questions (or the lack thereof)

I had two interviews today (both were panel interviews consisting of myself and two other managers). At the end of the first interview, one of the managers says,

"So, do you have any questions for us?"
The candidate replies,

"No, I asked a lot of questions prior to the interview so I think I'm doing ok."
She was very kind and probably didn't want to take up any more of our time, so she politely bowed out and ended the interview.

2nd interview -

At the end of the 2nd interview, the same manager asks the same question. This candidate says,

"Yes, I have several questions that I'd like to ask about the company and a few that are specific to the role."
She then proceeded to address each of the questions one-by-one.

The questions were thoughtful; the candidate had prepared for the interview and researched our company appropriately. She was knowledgable about our products; familiar with our technology; acquainted with our culture. Her questions were succinct and concise.

I was impressed.

While both candidates were equal in their experience and background, it was clear that one candidate was differentiated by her preparedness.

Advice to Candidates:
Don't worry about being nice and giving the recruiter or hiring manager a break by not asking questions. We have already cleared our calendars for you. We want you to ask questions.

This is a terrific opportunity for you to show us that you understand our issues and that we'd simply be crazy for not inviting you to join our team.

Go on - get crazy with it - ask some questions that'll make us think.

We'll be ok as long as you don't ask...

"Does my bum look big in this?"

Dennis, the t-blogger

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