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An Interview is a Two-Way Street: How to Get the Most out of an Interview

There’s a lot of interview advice out there. What to wear, how early to get there, how to answer questions that might come up, and how to send a thank-you note after the interview. But no one ever tells you to prepare questions for the interviewer.

Wait, you ask. Questions for the interviewer?

That’s right, intrepid candidate. You have questions. Everybody who interviews has questions, and those questions go beyond “How much does this job pay?” and “What are the benefits like?”. There are things you want to know, such as why is this position open and what is the next step in career progression from this position.

Your questions may not be earth-shattering, but they’re important to you. Surely you’ll remember to get those questions answered at the interview, right?

No, you won’t. Nervous energy will push your questions right out of your head. You’ll be so focused on doing well that you’ll forget all about your questions, and maybe be a little too intimidated to even ask.

An Interview is a Conversation

Too often, people go into interviews thinking it’s an adversarial situation. They have a goal, getting a job offer, and they see the interviewer as a gatekeeper, someone looking for a reason to keep them out. Many feel that they got the interview partly due to their skills, and partly due to luck, so they consider the interviewer to be doing them a favor. Or worse, they feel like they’re getting interrogated for having the nerve to apply for a job.

There are situations where a company interviews a candidate that they don’t intend to pursue, but those situations are rare. Most companies don’t bother interviewing candidates they aren’t interested in, and the vast majority of interviews you have are meant to be an opportunity for a company to get to know you and for you to get to know more about the company.

In other words, an interview is supposed to be a conversation. And while it isn’t the same as a conversation you might have with a friend or acquaintance, it’s still meant to be a chance to exchange information and ideas and to find out if it makes sense to go further and develop a business relationship.

Benefitting from an Interview

If you look at an interview as a conversation rather than a “cross your fingers and pray” situation, you’ll get a lot more out of it.

  • Less stress

Going to an interview is terrifying. Having a conversation about business with another professional usually isn’t. Believe it or not, interviewing is stressful for everyone, even the person (or people) conducting the interview. Instead of having a stilted, strained cross-examination as a hostile witness, approach the interview as a meeting with a potential colleague. It will be easier, and more pleasant for everyone involved. It will also help you make a better impression and get a more complete idea of what it might be like working for the company.

  • Answers to your questions

You know those questions that you have? When you’re relaxed, you’re more likely to remember them. Depending on where the conversation goes, some of your questions may be answered naturally.

  • Complete, honest answers

An interview is not the best way to decide whether or not you want to work for a company. The interviewer naturally wants to paint the company in the best light possible and may have a series of prepared answers that may, or may not, reflect reality. By approaching your interview like a conversation, you’ll get a better idea of what it would be like to work for the company. And when the interviewer is less formal, they’re more likely to give you candid, less practiced answers.

Let Optimum Staffing Solutions Guide You

Optimum Staffing Solutions can help both candidates and employers with the placement of accounting professionals. For the best staffing agencies in Greensboro, NC, as well as for the best staffing agencies in Charlotte, NC, contact Optimum Staffing Solutions.

A Greensboro temp agency, an Atlanta temp agency, as well as a Charlotte temp agency, Optimum, can provide your company with a highly skilled freelancer, contract, temporary, or direct hire professional along with HR Services. Of the temp agencies in Greensboro, NC, Atlanta, GA, and the temp agencies in Charlotte, NC, Optimum offers small to medium-sized businesses a wealth of talent to fill their positions.

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