An Interviewer’s Perspective: Reverse Engineered

Compass-seaLHow does a concept from the field of engineering get itself into the dysfunctional event called INTERVIEWING?  ‘Reverse engineering’ is a detailed examination of an idea or product with the aim of producing something similar. In fact, this method could also apply to the job interview because sometimes, in a job interview, the candidate does not properly understand the question the interviewer has asked, and therefore the answer, of course, would likely not be the best.


Our next Session is Thursday, July 6th… Closing The Deal I: Interview STRATEGIES including PRE-Offer negotiation.


Pilot OnboardIn other words, the most important element of the job interview is that the candidate clearly and fully understand each question if that candidate’s answers are to meet the interviewer’s expectations.

It’s a sad fact that most of the people who conduct job interviews—namely, those representing employers—have never taken even one structured course about carrying out a thorough and productive interview. And it’s unfortunate that many professional interviewers do a less than satisfactory job at it.

Anatomy Of The Interview

The job interview itself is a professional conversation between employers’ representatives and job applicants (EQUAL participants) for the purpose of selecting the applicant who appears to be the best candidate. Of course, interviews vary in many ways based on type of job and on level within an organization. But in all cases there are similarities.  So, what are the criteria that interviewers must satisfy for themselves in order to go ahead and recommend the hiring of an individual?

The answer, of course, includes many criteria, which will differ from one interview to the next…and which at times will be influenced by prejudices. In addition, in most cases more than one interview takes place before a final decision is reached.  But, in all cases, if the desired result is ‘good data’ from which to reach an acceptable decision, THREE issues must be discussed:

THE JOB SEEKER… The interviewer(s) must confirm that you meet the organization’s ‘requirements’ stipulated in the job description.  As they form criteria for the screening process, this portion of the recruitment process must be conducted in the past tense… the job seeker’s skills, knowledge areas, and experience.  While this should be the most objective, fact based portion of the process, it often is not.

THE JOB… The interviewer(s) must determine if the job seeker meets their ‘expectations’ for the role being filled.  This is a more subjective approach that leads to dysfunction in the traditional process.  As expectations ‘frame’ the job seeker’s qualifications in the selection process, this portion of the process must be conducted in the future tense.  The challenge is that all data gathered, by definition, is subjective in nature.

THE FIT… While many applicants might meet an organization’s requirements for a given role, and be highly qualified to perform well, actual selection as a new hire is the most dysfunctional part of the recruitment process.  At best, the interviewer(s) must be limited to a myriad of subjective criteria, like company culture, likeability of the candidate, and personal ‘norms’ to name a few.

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