September 21, 2022

Recruiting 101: Interviewing 101

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Kierra Kohlbeck and Camille Knapik Balch both have lots of experience being interviewed and interviewing others. They break down how to prepare for an interview, how to debrief from an interview, and everything in between. 

Episode Transcript

Hey, how are you today? I’m good. How are you? Good. I’m glad we’re back. I think this is our third video, right? Yep. Yep. Third one. Perfect. So I know we wanted to chat a little bit about how to prepare for your interviews. And we kind of had some things how to de debrief after, and then everything in between.

So I’ll let you get started. Yeah. So interviews can be quite scary, but I think if you’re prepared, it’ll make the interview process a lot easier. So one thing I would suggest doing to start off is your research on the company you’re interviewing with. Know how long they’ve been running, know how many employees they have,

just know a little bit about the company and what kind of things you can really speak upon, because that’s going to show that you are doing your research and you’re going to stand out from other candidates as you are interviewing because they’ll know that you’re actually interested in their company.

They want to hire people that really want to work with them. So showing that I think would make you stand out. Another thing is to practice interview questions with a peer. I think that’s going to prepare you really well for the types of questions that you might see. And if you’re unsure of what kind of questions they’re going to ask, there’s a lot of online resources.

And I know that Camille and Jill just wrote a blog about what kind of questions you might see in an interview. So I’ll let her kind of talk about that and how they kind of put together that document. Yeah. Yeah. So we prepared some questions that the interviewer can ask the interviewees. Is that how you say it? I think so.

Yeah. So some questions that we thought would show that you’re really engaged care about the process and just really interested in learning more is asking about like the onboarding process for the role. Are you someone who needs a lot of hands on experience? Are you fine with just watching some videos and just kind of

getting more questions to know if this is a good fit for you or not. You can’t just accept a job just to get a salary. You really want to make sure that it’ll be a good onboarding process for you and that’ll it’ll be a good fit. You can also ask if someone was previously in this role, were they promoted?

Did they leave the company? Ask a little bit about that because maybe there are some problems within the company. Maybe they don’t promote from within. Maybe they don’t treat their employees well, so that will give you a lot of information as well. And another good question is what does success look like in 30, 60, 90 days?

Just getting an understanding if kind of what they’re looking for. Is it reasonable? Is it realistic? Are you going to have to be working overtime a lot? And those questions will just give you a good idea of what they’re looking for, if this will be a good fit for you or not. Yeah, and I definitely would have questions to ask, whether you get going in the interview and they come up as you’re talking, I would definitely ask something that shows that you are interested in the company and the position itself.

I would also look at the LinkedIn of the person that’s interviewing you. Sometimes they’ll have like an invite link with the person’s name and you can look them up on LinkedIn. And then you can take a few notes on that person, just so you can kind of speak to the fact that you did your research on what they’re currently doing at the company, how long they’ve been there, where they went to college, that kind of thing.

And it’s nice to speak upon that when they’re talking with you. I think that’s a really, really great way to make that connection right away. Definitely. And if you’ve seen that they’ve been promoted at that company that you’re interviewing for, that’s a great opportunity just to ask them questions about that, how they did that, what the manager style is like.

So really just doing your research, it’ll help you interview better, it’ll help you be more prepared and it’ll just help everything go smoother. Yeah. And I would also have like to the side, if you’re doing a Zoom interview or whatnot, have some of those projects that you’ve worked on or that experience that you can speak upon, because most of the time they’re going to ask you for examples of things you’ve done in your current role.

And if you can speak upon those and have those ready to go, I think that’ll show that you’re prepared and also they want somebody in certain positions that have done the job before. So if you can show what and how you’ve done that, I think that’ll make you stand out against other candidates as well.

If it’s something that you haven’t done before, then at least speak on how your skills that you’ve had in the past can transfer this new career. So just having those experiences thought out, I think is going to go a long way. Yeah. And I had done that in the past for my interview. Mm-hmm. So some questions I thought about were like how I worked through a project with little resources.

I kind of wrote down a little bit on a few sticky notes or even on just a regular sheet of paper. You can give examples of how you work with others on a team. Tell me about a time when you fixed a mistake. If there’s a lot of moving parts, it really shows a lot about your personality and just kind of how you work through.

So giving specific data, specific examples is really helpful for the interviewers and the hiring managers, the recruiters, whoever’s interviewing you. Yeah. I think there’s like a good way to put a spin on things. So I’ve gotten questions asked before, like when was a time you made a mistake and like how did you fix that?

And even if I couldn’t come up with a mistake that I had made in the past, I talked about what I would do if I had made a mistake and what I would do to kind of fix that. So I think you can spin everything in a positive way after answering that question as well. Definitely. Yeah. And even if you didn’t act how you wanted to in the past, or obviously you mature as you get older in the workplace, so maybe say, “And looking back now, like I would’ve definitely done things differently.”

So I think just being transparent and professional is good too. Yeah, I would agree. So how would you go about debriefing after an interview or debriefing the interview? Yeah. So usually sometimes I would write down like questions I was hoping to get out of the interview. Maybe like finding out about the culture, the management style, how to get involved with the company, anything like that.

And after the interview, I would just kind of write my notes down. Basically I think after an interview, you shouldn’t have any lingering questions and you should be prepared to accept an offer. So I think if you’re not prepared, if you have any lingering questions, that’s your sign to reach back out to the recruiter, ask her anything, ask her or him anything you need to know.

So yeah, debriefing for me is just really writing down my notes. Did I like the interview or not? Did I like what they had to offer? Did I think it would be a good fit? Just kind of summarizing that and just making sure I know how I’m feeling before I get on the phone with the recruiter the next day.

Yeah, and I think it shows you care too if you’re following up with more questions that you didn’t get answered. It’s not annoying to the recruiter like they like when you ask questions. So another thing I would consider doing is doing a follow up email or written note. I would send that to the person you interviewed with just saying, “Hey, thank you for your time.

This is why I think I’d be a great fit for the role.” And just show that you are appreciative of their time and you’re looking forward to next steps. Definitely. Yeah. And if for some reason that role doesn’t work out for you, you’re still building that relationship. You’re being respectful. You’re being kind, and you don’t want to burn any bridges

if a job doesn’t work out, just because maybe you were looking for growth and they noticed that they might not have that at the time. So they don’t want to give you that opportunity because they know you wouldn’t be happy. So it’s not always just black and white, you know? There’s a lot of gray areas. So I think just being kind and respectful, sending a thank you note.

And if it doesn’t work out, just knowing that down the road, it will. Just don’t burn any bridges and just keep building your network and those connections. Yeah. And if anything, it’s good interview practice. It prepares you for your next interviews and just kind of shows you what to expect. So if anything, you’ll get something positive out of it. Definitely.

And you’ll have things to compare too. And you’ll just get more comfortable with speaking and answering questions, because it is kind of a quick, a quick thing. Usually interviews are only like 30 or 45 minutes, so you kind of have to think on your toes. So you can only get better at it. Yeah, I agree. And if you have any questions that we weren’t able to answer, feel free to shoot us a message or comment on this video.

Awesome. Thank you. Thank you.

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