Knowing your interview audience

I happened upon this bit of wisdom on another blog (http://passages.typepad.com/my_odyssey_blog/2009/04/index.html) and really wanted to share it.

It is critical to present yourself according to the needs, objectives, position and technical understanding of the person interviewing you. At some point you will probably interview with someone from HR. The HR person is probably interviewing for multiple positions within the company. He/she will be interviewing you followed by an accountant and then a sales person. His job is to evaluate:
• Your personality; Does it fit with the other members of the team?
• Your career aspirations and goals; Do they match with what the company offers? Will you be satisfied?
• Your compensation requirements; You do not commit at this time but she will try.
• The stability of your work history, career progression and why you are looking.
• Are you a team player and can you site examples?

That is 95% of the HR interview.

5% will deal with technology yet technology is the core of the IT professional’s skills and experience so we want to talk about it. Our instinct is to talk about it a lot.

The HR / generalist interviewer will ask very specific technical questions that he was given by the hiring manager. He has been told the answers to look for. Keep your answers short and direct. This is not the person with whom you spend fifteen minutes discussing Java concepts.

After you answer a technical question ask if you satisfactorily answered the question or would he like more detail.

NOTE: If you are working with an outside recruiter who has not prepared you for points 1-5 as they relate to what the interviewer is looking for, fire him. Do your homework. Ultimately it is your responsibility to learn something about the person you are interviewing with, the position and the company.

TIP – Early in the interview it is appropriate to ask the interviewer about her technical background. This will tell you how much technical detail the interviewer can handle.

No comments: