A major mistake career seekers and former employees make is assuming the job interviewer is competent or properly trained in how to conduct job interviews! In my experience as an employment mediator, ill-trained job interviewers are all too common.
Companies routinely find themselves in legal hot water promoting individuals into management and then “turning them loose” in job interview settings.
The one thing that has been consistent is the inconsistency of job interview questions. Job seekers should understand that the person doing the interview might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer. He or she may not have been adequately trained. Job interviewers routinely ask illegal improper questions either out of ignorance or deliberately with the intent to discriminate against certain groups.
That makes learning to give good job interview answers and asking good job interview questions so important. The questions asked at job interviews often hide what the job interviewer really wants or needs to know! One of the things in the job interview process for the applicant involves discovering what that is. As a job seeker, why am I being asked these interview questions?
For example, the interviewer asks, “Have you had challenges working in various cultural workplace settings?” From my experience, here is what the job interviewer is really asking. “Have you had trouble dealing with different racial groups?” When preparing for a job interview spend time investigating the business. You should learn about the company’s history and what it does for the industry. Review the company’s website and its about us page. I would be looking at how well it treated its employees with things like salaries, benefits and promotional opportunities. Ask the interviewer questions such as:
- “What are the company’s goals?”
- “Where does the company see itself in five, ten years?”
- “Why is the company a good fit for you?”
- “Why will the company be a good fit for me?”
Try to find out how well the company is doing financially. It would be to the job interviewee’s advantage to know if the company is going to be around for a while. You could do some research with the Chamber of Commerce and the Better Business Bureau. I would make inquiries with local, state and federal consumer advocacy groups for any complaints filed against the employer.
- Is it on the verge of layoffs that could include the position applied for?
- Is the business going to be sold in the near future?
- Are their any bankruptcy issues?
- Does the organization have a history of employment complaints on file with state and federal agencies?
- Are there any employees that you know personally, who could give some insight into the “culture” of the organization and its management?
Incompetent job interviewers can be destructive to themselves, their companies and job applicants. Interviewees are not just interviewing to get a job; they should interview the company and job to get them!