Should I use the same preperation, introduction, tell me about yourself, significant accomplishments, etc. for interviewing with multiple people at the same company?

I have an interview scheduled where there will be 4-6 people interviewing me in sucession. Should I be able to use the same parts of my interview preperation for each of them, or do I need to have various accomplishments and questions to ask based upon the interviewer? For example, do I use different answers for the HR manager vs. the Technical Director?

buhlerar's picture

How silly to score low points with interviewer B because you "used up" your best example with interviewer A and didn't feel like you could repeat.

A few caveats, though.  First, you certainly don't want to repeat one accomplishment over and over with the same interviewer -- that doesn't send a good message.  Second, if interviewer B specifically says "tell me about an accomplishment that you didn't tell interviewer A" then obviously follow along with their program.

Of course, you still want to prepare various examples of accomplishments, because you never know which ones will answer their questions best.  For example, I've been asked to describe a time when I faced an ethical dilemma -- my biggest success didn't involve an ethical dilemma so I had to go with my best accomplishment that did.

Admittedly, some interviewers will compare notes and see the same answers as a problem.  But the odds are against it.  Here's how I look at it.  If they're all using the same interviewing script (similar to MT's ICT -- I've seen it called "targeted selection" elsewhere), inherent in that defined process is an understanding that they will get the same answers.  Some interviewers will misapply the system, and there's nothing you can do if you answer "correctly" but they interject an unexpected variable into the equation.  In general, you should follow the system and put on your best show for every interviewer.

One last thing -- when I had to look for a job last summer, I was shocked at how many companies conducted interviews basically by the seat of their pants.  No predetermined list of questions, etc.  No consistency between interviewers.  Many of the interviewers weren't even that familiar with the job responsibilities.  I think they just thought more interviewers = better hiring process (which can be true, if there's some cohesion to the process).  So it's very possible you'll have 4-6 interviews that all have a different approach.  But even with that, you want to present your best case and almost all interviews will give you a chance to describe your past successes.

I think this question has been raised on other topics here on the forums in the past, because it's not an uncommon situation.  You might find other advice on those threads.

Good luck!