How to make the interview a two-way process

make the interview 2 way process

Remember that when you go to an interview for a technology job that you are interviewing the business as much as they are interviewing you. If successful, then you’ll be committing 8-10 hours a day so it must be doing something you enjoy in an environment in which you can thrive.

Top tips for making the interview two-ways

The only way you can be sure of that is to conduct thorough research before the interview and ask relevant and specific questions when you are in the interview itself. Not only will asking those questions give you the answers you need to help you establish whether you want that technology job but It also helps you to show enthusiasm and engagement that hopefully demonstrates to the company you’re the “stand-out” candidate for the role.

The best way to do this is to have a list of questions prepared prior to the interview split into a few categories:

Ask questions about the job

The best way to take a bit more control of the interview is to answer a question and then end with a question of your own. An example of this would be if you’re asked to talk through your technical strengths – answer this question but at the end ask something like “how does that fit in with your technology stack” or more specifically around versions or releases. Other questions could include:

  • What background would the ideal person have and how do you think my experience compares?
  • How do you measure the success of this job?
  • If you think about someone in the team who has come in and performed from day 1, what was their approach?
  • After 6 months in the role, what performance metrics would be in place for you to know that you’ve made the right hire?
  • Why has the job become available?
  • What are the biggest challenges that this team is currently trying to solve?
  • Who will I be working most closely with?

Ask questions about the company

In order to have “purpose” (which is key to long term motivation) you need to understand the company in terms of culture as well as their products and services. Is it a place you can thrive, does it suit your personality etc. You’ll be able to get some of this information from a Google search or deep dive into their website so try to ask questions that demonstrate that you have done that research. Questions could include:

  • Having researched the market it looks like x, y and z could all be considered competitors. What makes your products / services better than theirs?
  • What is the top priority for the business over the next 12 months?
  • What do you like most about working for this company?
  • I understand your company values are x, as an employee where would you say these are most present in the day-to-day operations of your team and the wider business?
  • Why did you join the company and what has made you stay?
  • How are you onboarding new starters given the situation with Covid?

Ask questions to help close the interview

This can be quite difficult to cover and needs a confident and clear approach but whether or not you are even interested in the job or the interview has gone well then it is worth trying to close them and ask for the job. Even if you are unsuccessful or not interested in working for them, you need to appreciate that the technology world can be a small one sometimes and it is always important to leave a positive impression. Handled delicately it is a great way to get quick feedback and potentially solve any areas of concern where you may not have explained yourself as clearly as you wanted to:

  • What concerns do you have around my experience and the way I’ve answered your questions?
  • What are the timescales in terms of you being able to decide around next steps?
  • I’m really keen on working at XYZ, are there any skills or bits of experience that I haven’t ticked off your list?
  • How do you feel I compare to others that you are considering for the position?
  • Do you have an ideal start date in mind? When are you ideally looking for the person to start the job

Summary

The key thing here is that you’re showing enthusiasm and that you’re engaging the interviewer in a proper conversation. Interviewers aren’t always comfortable doing an interview either so someone coming along and showing interest can make it a more pleasurable experience. We’re working with some great clients who “get” how to interview and the feedback we get from candidates is that they really enjoyed it but the won’t always be the case.

Suggested reading for more examples…

JLA Resourcing is a specialist Technology Recruiter based in Hampshire covering IT Jobs across the South of England with a focus on Cloud, Security, Infrastructure, Service Management and Project Management jobs.

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Ben Leeds
Ben Leeds
With over 20 years’ in the recruitment industry Ben has seen quite a bit and hopes that by sharing some thoughts he can help you to either hire the best person or find the right job!
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