The Unseen Interview: Preparing for Casual Conversations before and after the Formal Interview
Interviewing can be a nerve-wracking process. In your focus on preparing for the questions and presentations, don’t make the costly mistake of seeing only the formal interview—your potential employer certainly won’t! Think of a job interview like a book: though the main chapters are the substance, the preface and conclusion give important information to guide your experience. Here are some of the questions interviewers will be reading there:
How do you handle unfamiliar situations? In an interview you are out of your element. Are you able to adapt and engage? Are you threatened by change or do you thrive on the challenge? Are you distracted in a different environment or able to be fully present?
How do you treat support staff? Even if you are interviewing with a top-level executive, the way you interact with everyone you encounter—from the doorman to the receptionist—says a lot about the way you treat others and how you will function in a team. Do you value the contributions of all or are you always looking out for yourself?
Are you interesting? The small-talk surrounding the interview is telling about you as a person. Are you a curious person or is the last book you read from a decade ago? Do you have the ability to put people at ease? Do you communicate effectively?