Cover letter to get the resume noticed - CHECK
Resume to get the interview - CHECK
Interview to get the Offer - DUNNO, but I feel good.

I interviewed for a City Manager position in a small city. Rather than a single interviewer, the interview was with the entire administrative staff of the City.

This was the first time in 13 years that I interviewed (everything else-internal promotions). - I was nervous until the interview team asked the first question: Tell us a bit about yourself.....................................

The interview series is a fantastic prep tool.

[b]My question is this --- Is there a different way to approach an interview with a multitude of of folks rather than a single interviewer? [/b]

I found myself trying to frame my answers about accomplishments and subsequent illustrative examples to meet what I believed to be individual job functions of the interview team. I hope because of that I didn't appear too broad and scattershottish as opposed to engaging only one person.

PierG's picture

I don't know if it's a good way of interviewing or not but that's not the topic: it DOES happen.

I think that 90% of the suggestions M&M gave in the 'interview series' are about you and how you PREPARE (and it seems you did a great job) and effectively behave no matter how many/how old/how tall the interviewers are.
What do you think?


Spoelker's picture


Thanks for the reply. You're correct. Who cares how many etc.

[b]The good news is that I passed my future staff's initial interview. Next up - a second with at least the Mayor of the City.
Time to start prepping for the next interview. WAHOOOOO.

Is there anything different that I should be highlighting with this interview? Given that the interview is with my future boss, I think I should gear the interview to relationship/communication/interpersonal skills that I have collected.


bflynn's picture

Is there a difference in how you prepare? No, there shouldn't be. You still do an alignment of accomplishments<->traits<->employer needs. You still need to know how you will frame your answers to the standard behavioral questions. Its an interview, just with a lot of people.

When you deliver, remember that you're delivering to a group. I practiced this by using my son's stuffed animals - I set them up as the audience and practice talking to each of them in turn. It isn't really an interviewing skill per se, but something that I did after seeing how poorly many candidates addressed groups.

I believe with groups, it is more important to connect and impress than with a dedicated interviewer. When you have a group, the group frequently consists of people who do not conduct many interviews. Some of the subtle things you might do to impress a professional interviewer will be lost on them.


PierG's picture

I think the schema is always the same.

Being your future boss, I'd just look at YOUR final questions (and in general at the way you try to "understand" them) in a more 'focused' way. He will be your direct, he knows better what the role is, what are his expectations.

I wait for a post in which you'll write: GOT IT! :)


Spoelker's picture

>>>>I wait for a post in which you'll write: GOT IT!

How's this:

[size=18][/size]GOT IT[size=9][/size]

My third interview was this afternoon over lunch. According to Horstman's law, if you don't have an offer, you got nothing, I actually have something now.


Thanx to all.[/b]

maura's picture
Training Badge


jhack's picture

You got an offer?!


juliahhavener's picture
Licensee Badge

Awesome! Congratulations to you.

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

I assume you mean an offer. Well done!

PierG- Thanks for your help while I was away. (One needn't use different examples with different interviewers. Same question, same job, same example is fine.)

Keep us posted.


pmoriarty's picture
Training Badge

Congratulations, Mr. City Manager!

Spoelker's picture

To all: Thanx for everyone's comments and advice. The offer is now a new position. The interview series and everyone's advice highlights that enthusiasm and energy are key to a good interview. In this case it worked - from the newspaper article:
BELLEVUE -A longtime employee of the city of Cincinnati will become Bellevue's city administrator.

Bellevue officials say they have confidence Keith Spoelker will excel at managing city activities and operations. The city interviewed between 30 and 40 candidates before choosing Spoelker, said Mayor Jack Meyer.

"In my opinion, he had all the qualities we were looking for," Meyer said, "[b]being able to deal with people[/b], a good financial background. We just felt [b]we had a connection with him[/b]. [b]He is willing to be part of a community."[/b]

"So much of what we do in the city administration is about who we are as people and how we relate to people," Robinson said. "[b]He just has a really positive, upbeat demeanor. He is genuinely interested in serving the community."[/b]

Again, thanks to all.

Keith Spoelker

WillDuke's picture
Training Badge

Let me be the first here to say "Congratulations Keith!"

Fantastic news.

jhack's picture

Congratulations, sounds like an exciting opportunity!


bffranklin's picture
Training Badge

Congratulations, Keith! Definitely excited for you!

ktnbs's picture

Exciting thread to read. My congratulations to you Keith!

Uplifting news release too. (no pressure)

madamos's picture
Licensee Badge

Congrats Keith!

juliahhavener's picture
Licensee Badge

Congratulations, Keith!