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Psychology of the Interview: Part Two

Can You Do the Job As It Is Defined for You?  A Fact Finding Mission

In our last post, we started our series on the Odom & Co interview preparation process. We continue with a look at getting a potential employer to better define a role, so you can assess if it is the right fit for you. Matt Odom, one of our managing partners and principals, shares his expertise with you.

What is the best way for a candidate to get a potential employer to define a role?
You can expect an interviewer to ask some form of the question, “Tell me about yourself.” We recommend a candidate respond, “Certainly. But, before I do, please take a moment and share with me how you view the role, so I may speak to my relevant experience.”

You not only get the role defined directly from the employer, but you now also understand how you might solve an employer’s problem(s). Oftentimes, interviews lack direction or focus. It is extremely important for a candidate to have a target. This ensures what you share is relevant to what the client is seeking.

We also advise you to get the role defined by everyone in the company with whom you meet.  You are looking for consistencies, and more importantly, inconsistencies in the way the role is viewed at each level within an organization.

What is a key ingredient often overlooked by both candidates and employers?
Unmet expectations are the number one reason new working relationships fail. It is imperative to get an employer’s expectations clearly laid out in the interview, and we recommend you ask, “How do you define success in the role?”

Why is this so important?
Otherwise, you will not be able to determine whether or not a company’s expectations are reasonable. You can avoid getting into a position where you have no chance of succeeding because the employer’s expectations are unrealistic. This must be uncovered before you are in the role.

What are some red flags?
Trust your internal barometer. Don’t be afraid to question something if it doesn’t seem to line up with your experience. It is appropriate to ask why their expectations and your experience are so different. You might surprisingly uncover the company has resources in place to provide you with the ability to meet the expectations.  However, conversely, you may find the expectations are not rooted in experience and would set you up for failure.

Shouldn’t Odom & Co determine if a role is right for a candidate before the interview?
In many areas, yes. However, we are not the employer, and you ultimately make the decision as to whether a role is the right one for you. It is important for a candidate to get certain questions answered directly.

In our next post, Matt will discuss how to determine if the time is right for you to make a change. Please feel free to contact Matt Odom with any additional questions you may have about the interview process at modom@odomandco.com.

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