Spinning the Table

Recruitment Tips

As part of the Galway Advertiser’s ongoing feature on recruitment in conjunction with our classified website classifieds.advertiser.ie/jobs, we share some tips from recruiters based around Galway

To paraphrase/plagiarise a much better writer than myself:

It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on Earth has ever produced the expression "As pleasant as a job interview"

Think of the last conversation you can remember really enjoying. Not just a bit of chit-chat about what you did on the weekend (or if it past midday on a Wednesday, what you are planning for the next one ) but an in-depth, interesting and thought-provoking discussion. Maybe it was this morning over breakfast or it could have been weeks ago in a bar after work.

Who were you with and what were you talking about?

Without knowing anything about it I can take a pretty fair stab at the answer to both questions. You were talking to someone whose opinions you respect and you were discussing something you care about.

You might have hundreds of interactions with other people every day but only one or two memorable conversations and what’s the difference between them? Engagement. How invested you were in that person and their views and how interested you perceived them to be in you and yours.

It works the exact same way in job interviews.

Picture a hiring manager with a morning of interviews ahead of them. Let’s call him Nigel. You may expect Nigel to be looking forward to meeting all these bright, enthusiastic candidates (he’s a great manager after all ) but frankly he’s dreading it. And why wouldn’t he be? Four hours of asking the same questions in the same order and getting largely the same answers would be enough to drive anyone up the wall. How is he going to choose between a group of equally qualified people? They each have the expertise and experience so what will swing it one way or the other?

The person who gets the offer is going to be the one who stands out from the crowd. The person who puts their hand up and makes Nigel remember them positively. They won’t do this just by having good answers prepared but by engaging him in the interview and raising his interest. They will turn the interview from an interrogation into a conversation by asking good questions throughout and by finding out themselves exactly what Nigel is looking for and what he is offering. They will spin the table.

Nigel must have a problem he needs solving or he wouldn’t be looking for a new employee. Maybe he has an exciting new project coming up or maybe he needs someone to sit in front of the door to stop the draft. Either way, you won’t find out unless you spin the table and really get to the bottom of Nigel’s needs. If he has a problem that you have experience in solving then you can discuss it and all of a sudden the interview is going in a much better direction. If he has a draft-excluder issue in which you have no interest then that’s ok too, at least now you know and you needn’t waste any more time with this process.

There is no rule that says you have to wait until the end of the interview to ask questions (and if they tell you to do so it is a fairly good indicator of how they will treat you if you take the job! ). Nigel doesn’t just want to run down the checklist in front of him then usher you out the door. He wants to know that you care about the position and that you’re interested in the company. That you understand his problem and can help him solve it.

So spin the table and get your interviewer talking. You’ll engage them in the meeting, learn more about the company and hugely increase your chances of walking away with the job.


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