People are not born as interviewers, they are training like anyone else who does a specific job. Therefore, you also can gain access to their training material in order to prepare yourself for an up and coming interview. The following article will give you a little insight in what interviewers are training to do.
There are generally two main areas of interview training. The first is how to ask questions and the second is how to structure an interview; here we will look at the latter.
Structuring an interview means that all significant details about a candidate are gained in order to ensure they really are the right person for the job. For example, there would be no point in employing a person for a sales position which involves a lot of travelling if you later find out the person can’t drive, a person who lives in Glasgow and doesn’t want to move would not be suitable for a job based in London, and even, a job in the defence industry would probably be quite unsuitable for a pacifist!
By having an insight into the general structure of an interview, you will be able to anticipate what type of questions will be asked and what exactly the interviewer is looking for from a successful candidate.
The following are areas of a candidates personality, physical appearance and background that an interviewer will be looking for:
#1 Physical Aspects – put simply this refers to your health and physical appearance or build. If the job you are applying for is quite labour intensive but you, perhaps, are a little unfit or have some health issues, this will be something the interviewer will have to take into consideration.
#2 Qualifications, Attainments And Experience – as with all interviews, your educational and professional achievements will be looked at. If the job you seek involves dealing with figures or calculations then the absence of a maths qualification will be something the interviewer will want to become aware of. Your previous professional experience will also be important as an interviewer will want to know what types of jobs you have done before and whether those jobs have given you valuable experience and skills which will help you do the job you are now applying for.
#3 General Intelligence – an interviewer will try to gain an idea of your intelligence and how this intelligence will be used within working circumstances.
#4 Special Aptitudes And Innate Abilities – an interviewer will consider any aptitude strengths or weaknesses you may have (these can include linguistic, spatial, numerical or simply how fast your mind appears to work) and will consider how these will affect the job role you are applying for.
#5 Interests And Motivation – whilst your outside interests may not directly affect your job, it can be a good indication of the kinds of things that interest you and how motivated you are inside and outside of working time.
#6 Disposition And Impact On Others – this is a general look at your personality, judging how you answer questions and present yourself and considering how these things will impact on others. For example, if you are quite a loud person with a booming voice, you may find it difficult to work in conditions which require a great deal of silence such as a library.
#7 Circumstances And Emotional Adjustments – the interviewer will also take into consideration what circumstances have led you to applying for the job and how well adjusted you are to future employment, etc. For example, if you were made redundant from your last job and come across in the interview as desperate for employment, the interviewer may wonder if this really is the right job for you or are you just finding a quick employment fix whilst you look for another, more suitable position. They may also consider the emotional and psychological effects of your previous redundancy and how this may affect your working outlook in the future.
Whilst you may look at the above structural points and wonder what on earth half of them have to do with an interviewer, but it is just as important for the interviewer to feel comfortable with you as a potential employee as it is important for you to feel comfortable working in the organisation for whom you are having the interview. Many people are quite against answering any personal questions during an interview, such as your interests outside of work, but interviews aren’t really the full interrogation process you may feel they are.
Knowing the general structure of an interview will hopefully give you an insight into the kinds of questions you will be asked and the kinds of things the interviewer may be taking into account when not actually asking any questions! This all helps you to be prepared but it is also important to bear in mind that, if you go into an interview trying to look like, act like and answer like the perfect candidate, the interviewer will pick up on this. So just be yourself, act and answer honestly.