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Old 03-18-2019, 03:09 AM
 
6,884 posts, read 7,281,254 times
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Quote:
You are there to interview the company not just giving those dumb candid answers
THIS quote from another thread reminded me that THIS is something I want to improve about my interviews.....

But I've wondered how you do that without it seeming that I haven't done my homework about the company.
How DO you ask questions without it seeming that way?

I'm thinking maybe, preface your questions with:
-- "I know that you've done X amount in business"....what are the plans to increase billing? (or whatever)
-- "The X building (or project) you're working on seems interesting".....which positions will be called on to lead the effort?
-- Given the you'r suck a large ...(fill in the blank)...importer, developer, manufacturer, what do you have planned for XYZ department?"

How do you interview the company?? without it seeming like you haven't done your own due diligence?

Tips/suggestions please.
What's worked for you? Thanks.
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:47 AM
 
535 posts, read 620,077 times
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What job titles do you interview for?
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:53 AM
 
2,601 posts, read 1,937,821 times
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The interviewer is likely to be the hiring manager, so they don’t really make the decision in term of the whole department. It is usually the higher up that makes these kind of decision. What you want to know is the work environment you walking into. That’s pretty much all you can do during your interview.
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Pittsford, NY
520 posts, read 625,935 times
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When I interviewed at companies in past, if the concern was not what I could do for them or what they need, but how my resume appears, or if there are certifications or talk about certifications, or things like that I mark that down heavily as a company to perhaps not consider if one has other options. I don't know your field and it works differently everywhere, but I want a company I am happy making a contribution to, not making appearances of looking like something.
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Old 03-18-2019, 10:44 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,806 posts, read 54,455,776 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nybklyn View Post
The interviewer is likely to be the hiring manager, so they donít really make the decision in term of the whole department. It is usually the higher up that makes these kind of decision. What you want to know is the work environment you walking into. Thatís pretty much all you can do during your interview.
Any manager should be familiar with and able to speak on the goal, major initiatives and challenges of the company. When interviewing I will always finish with "do you have any questions for me?" and give the applicant a chance to "interview the company." In many cases what they ask at that time is the deciding factor when all else is even, or really close. Demonstrating that they have done research and have some knowledge of our organization, and asking questions that are indicative of real interest in a career here are a big plus. On the other hand, some of the candidates will ask questions about paid leave, breaks, and other topics best left for offer time.
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Old 03-18-2019, 11:51 AM
 
535 posts, read 620,077 times
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It's pretty easy to interview the company once you master the skill of how to do it. The most important thing to do is turn the interview into a conversation and not an order taking format. You want an engaged conversation. Obviously some that are doing the interview (employer side) make it so boring and just want answers to questions, but for the ones interested in having a conversation while also addressing employer based questions (from employer), you can ask questions while answering their questions during your answers.

Always find out why the job is open (advancement, new product development, new department, etc, etc). Then you find our how you fit the big picture goal for the company or specific department.

What about this position is most important? How does it support management and serve direct reports?

By the time the interview is done you should be able to know exactly how this role fits into the company, the company need (you should be getting hired for a reason) and how you fit into it and the challenges you will face.

You have to do research before the interview to even interview the company with any meaning and not just the dumb candid questions - can you talk to me about company culture? lol.
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Old 03-18-2019, 11:54 AM
 
535 posts, read 620,077 times
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You want to know about fit, how the role fits the organization's broader strategy, management style, what success looks like, and keep going until you get the complete picture. When you are going over those topics, you want to bring in how you can make the role fit for you and the hiring manager can envision you filling the role.
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Old 03-18-2019, 02:56 PM
 
6,884 posts, read 7,281,254 times
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Quote:
Demonstrating that they have done research and have some knowledge of our organization, and asking questions that are indicative of real interest in a career here are a big plus.
So, if you can, what are some examples?

And, would you say it makes a difference if I'm only interviewing with the fed gov't. Maybe it does. Maybe it doesn't.
Because, heaven help me, federal interviewing has not been like any kind of private sector interviews (I had in the past, years ago)
I've had four interviews in the past 6 months. All different agencies. All different jobs. (from what I'd call skilled to administrative).

These interviewers read off a freaking paper. No chit chat to speak of. They have no personality. Ask all candidates the same questions. Don't deviate from their scripts. They give no hint when you tell them about your skills and successes. Won't tell you how many people are are being interviewed (so you can't get an idea of how many people you're up against).

One interview I had ...the person who interviewed said she'd pass her notes to the hiring official who wasn't in on the interview!
Another interview, I emailed back to the interviewer to ask when a decision might be made. She matter-of-factly replied -- "send that question to the name on the announcement." And here I am thinking we had some kind of rapport. THIS is what I got from the interviewer. Not an "I don't know"...but "ask someone else." Really?

Most of the questions I ask...they tell me....they can't tell me, or they don't know. What the hell am I supposed to do with that? To be honest, I've wondered why the heck they ask if I have any questions, if they can't tell me anything I ask.

So how do you interview the "company" in this kind of situation.

Whether government or private sector I suppose you still want to impress the interviewer. So what are some questions to ask....when all you really want is the freaking job.
Thanks.

Last edited by selhars; 03-18-2019 at 03:15 PM..
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:56 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,806 posts, read 54,455,776 times
Reputation: 31111
Government and especially federal is a lot different. They play by strict civil service rules, including asking every applicant the exact same questions, very little room for follow-up. I worked at a state agency as a manager in the 1980s in CA and it’s like they are scared to death of being accused of discrimination. They even recorded every interview and kept the tapes.

Examples of questions re hard without knowing the company and department because they must be tailored to it. For example, “What is the biggest challenge facing the department”
is good but very general. You don’t need to know anything about them to ask it. Better is something that includes fact that a random person on the street wouldn’t know, such as “I understand that your budget includes funding for a new initiative, xxxxxxxxxxxxx. In what ways might this position contribute to the success of that effort?”

BTW, my best advice is to apply for government jobs that are not solely funded by tax dollars. That would include utility districts, airports, transit agencies, air quality districts, and housing authorities.
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Old 03-19-2019, 10:33 AM
 
9,778 posts, read 16,983,142 times
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We are friendly, and smile and joke sometimes, but you better believe that everyone is asked the exact same questions off a scripted list. It is much easier to defend a list of scripted questions than to have to try and explain why X was asked a question others weren't asked, especially if X feels they have some type of protected status and the question was used to discriminate against them. That said, we give you the opportunity to ask questions and sell yourself to us. This may not be applicable to all jobs, but I think a candidate has put some thought into the hiring process when they ask about what their initial training will consist of, how they will be trained, and what future training sessions and development/growth opportunities are available to them after the completion of their initial training program.
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