How to set your expectations after an interview

What is the worst part of an interview? If you ask me, its the not knowing that drives me crazy.

ME: Did I get the job? Do I have a chance? If I did, would you even tell me? Or, are you perfectly satisfied with sending me some automatic generic reply? Why aren’t you answering the questions in my mind?!

RECRUITER: Thank you for your time. We’ll be in touch.

Well, if you identify with my previous angst, you may want to try my (patented-pending) approach to interviewing for a job. In a nutshell, interview the interviewer to gauge the likelihood of said interview being a waste of your time. To do this, sprinkle in these questions some time during the process.

ASK: How long have you been recruiting? How much have you seen the industry change over that time?

WHY?: If they have been recruiting for a while (at least 3 years), then you can assume that they know what they are doing.

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ASK: How much have you seen the industry change over that time?

WHY?: If they have been focusing in the same industry for awhile, then they “get” what managers in the field really want vs what they say they want.

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RESEARCH: How many endorsements do they have on LinkedIn?

WHY?: It suggests how much of a people person they are. Recruiting is all about relationships and selling. If they have a bunch of attaboys from people they supported then they know how to pick and present a candidate and (better yet) know how to politick to get their hiring numbers up.

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ASK: How long have you been recruiting for my role?

WHY?: Let me count the ways. If the job is old (especially in this economy) say, over 90 days old then (1) the manager can’t make a decision, (2) manager is still lobbying for increased headcount and wants resumes on tap for when they are ready, (3) manager wants to hire his cousin but has to “exhaust the possibilities” so it looks good, or, (4) manager wants to hire internally but politically cannot so he has to make it look good.

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ASK: How pivotal is the role in the overall company scheme?

WHY?: Is the job low on the pole? If so, most likely they are not in a rush to fill the position. If your gig does happen to be low on the priority list so, ask about other roles they are trying to fill. If you know someone that might be a fit, you have another reason to contact them (to give them a referral) and chances are they won’t ignore you.

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ASK: What was the last great achievement made here?

WHY?: If you get a blank stare, they are (most likely) a worker bee. They are definitely not drinking the company kool-aid which may be bad for you. Why? Not well connected with the company so might not be able to remember opportunities in other departments you might be a fix for.

These are just a few questions and the methods behind the madness. Let me know what you think? Have you tried this method before?

-Jim

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