Submitted by akinsgre on
I looked through the Podcasts and this forum... Seems like the advise for interviewing (Where I am the interviewer) is encapsulated in
Interviews : The Introduction
Quick and Dirty Interviews
Effective Hiring : Set the bar high.
Any other podcasts, or particularly valuable posts that I might read to make sure I do as much as possible to prepare for my next interview
A good start! Some others that might be helpful:
Pay Better Attention!
Secrets of a Great Handshake
How to Make a Job Offer
I would add the resume podcast for the insight it gives.
And forgive me for my awful memory (my wife is in charge of my shoe size and the location of my clothes) the podcast where situational questions are better. e.g "tell me about a time when..."
My favourite question is at the end of an interview. "I think we have covered everything from our side, thank you. Looking back at the interview, is there anything YOU think you want to add, re-address or correct?". Sometime it brings out wonderful points, other times its quite funny as some interviewees rack their brains trying to establish if there was something they did wrong and manage to dig bigger holes.
OK, I've listened to all of those podcasts. Most of them are about being interviewed, not giving the interview.
I guess the How to Give an Interview 'cast is still just an entry on the whiteboard in the sky. :wink: Too bad, because I am giving my first interview EVER on Thursday. :shock:
No, it's not on the whiteboard. The quick and dirty interview is perfect for this.
OK! I wasn't sure, because the scenario Mike spun as a basis was interviewing for somebody else's department.
Question: I'm not hiring a manager or a salesperson, so would I still ask "what business news are you following"? Doesn't seem very relevant for a technical librarian, or am I missing something?
My impression, from the cast, is that the information in the Quick and Dirty interview covers the "Interviewing" aspect... The rest of Effective Hiring comes into play with longer term recruiting tactics.
Mark & Mike described the usefulness of the questions and the value in using questions that would deliver meaningful information in your situation. For example, asking about business news won't necessarily apply in my interview tomorrow (with a junior programmer). I'll probably ask a more technical warm up question, like "What was your first programming language?" Or "What developer blog do you follow?".
Good luck with your interview.
[quote="terrih"]Question: I'm not hiring a manager or a salesperson, so would I still ask "what business news are you following"? Doesn't seem very relevant for a technical librarian, or am I missing something?[/quote]
My understanding of the two recommended general questions, and specifically "What business news are you following"? is for you to learn about the person sitting in front of you. Why is that important? Because it's all about the relationship(s) between you and that individual, and how that person fits with the rest of your team. A well rounded person brings countless intangibles to the table that you will be thankful to have.
I encourage you to trust the advice Mike & Mark have given on the podcast. You may recall Mike was in a highly technical field and it was one of 'his' recommended questions.
Good luck & let us know how it turns out.
I think it would be fine to ask, "what library news have you been following?" Or, "what technical trends have you been watching that will affect our market?"
[quote="mahorstman"]I think it would be fine to ask, "what library news have you been following?" Or, "what technical trends have you been watching that will affect our market?"
I just started (as in yesterday!) looking for a new Systems Engineer in a very narrow, very technical discipline. Would it be appropriate for me to ask candidates "What journals are you following?" rather than asking about business or market-focused news?
It seemed to me, from the "quick and dirty interview" podcast, that the important thing was to ask the same two questions. But if my first question is "What journals are you following?" and the second is "What's the latest book?" am I getting enough parallax to be useful?
I'm a little concerned that if I'm really specific, and ask "What space news are you following?" or "What trends in space-based astronomy are you following?" then I won't really get much of a useful response.
There are two parts here: The first is if the interviewee actually reads, which shows growth and readiness to learn.
The second depends: If the applicant comes from of the field he's interviewing for, I would ask about astronomy and how he keeps up with events. I can also see from the resume that he has a chance for answering the questions.
The opposite would be that if interview a software engineer for a narrow field, I wouldn't expect the person to do reading on this field, and therefore not ask a specialized journal question. I would expect him to show his relevance to the job, as part of his preparation for the interview.
Really, either approach works great.
Thanks for the comments
Thanks, Mark & GilZ.
I feel like I got a gift this week (good for me, bad for the space program overall) with the International Space Station onboard computer problems.
Anybody in the flight operations community who isn't paying at least some attention to those problems is probably not really interested in our kind of work. So I should be able to ask "what news are you following around the space program" and get good comments about the challenges people are facing trying to operate complex systems over very long distances.
Visited your site today. I was impressed.
Your tagline - "Technology Matters. People Matter Most." is about one of the best I have ever read. It says a ton, in very few words.
Well done sir.
Thanks for the kind words, Mark. I added a 'subscribe' button in case people want to follow via RSS.
I was in a tag-team interview today (2 of us, 1 candidate) and I pulled out the "What book are you reading or have you recently finished?" and the room went silent. Both the interviewee and my colleague were impressed by the question. The way the interviewee answered the question kept me from being able to ask what news they are following. They slipped that information in addition to the book.
So far everyone I've asked about what business news they've been following has said "none." Today I said "business or industry" and they said "none."
Maybe I shouldn't really be surprised, this is an entry level job they're applying for, after all.
Maybe for an entry-level position you can ask "What news about our industry have you recently read about or seen on television?" It could be that for them "following" means that they are going online and actively seeking it out. Perhaps they should be doing so but perhaps the specific types of interviewees you are dealing with are not yet immersed in your industry enough to start to follow such things.
[quote]Perhaps they should be doing so but perhaps the specific types of interviewees you are dealing with are not yet immersed in your industry enough to start to follow such things.[/quote]
Or maybe they're not passionate about their industry? For a professional position, I don't think it matters if it's entry level or not.
To give an example (from my own industry), what would you think about a computer science student who doesn't read about the software industry- either magazines, books, or blogs? I know what I would think-
1. They want a software job for the paycheck
2. They don't really care about and have no passion for the industry
3. No hire.
Just because you haven't yet found someone to give a satisfactory answer doesn't mean the question is wrong- it means you have to keep looking. That's what "raising the bar" means to me.
I got one! She said she's been paying attention to local business news. :)
What do you think of this question?
What do you think of this question?: What do your parents do?
I was asked this several times, and even know a recruiter who's been instructed to ask every candidate this, because apparently it speaks about their level of education and polite behavior, and somebody whose parents don't have higher education would likely receive a minus.
I'm not sure why the parents' professional and personal history is relevant in general, and all the more so when the candidate is long out of college and has a professional path and a presence that are more relevant to his or her education and behavior.
Funny thing is that in Romanian the question "What do your parents do?" is the same with "How are they, or how do they do?" so the first time I was asked this I answered "Fine, thank you!".
Doesn't seem very relevant to me. And do they really want to hear about someone's mother who's just been moved to the Alzheimer ward (for instance)? :?
It didn't seem relevant to me either, but it's all the rage in interviewing these days, in Romania.
I don't find this question relevant either, and in my eyes it borderlines on being discriminatory.
It's illegal in the US, and stupid everywhere else.
I understand the rationale, but the bias involved is just sickening. What it proves to me is that people have NO CLUE what they are doing in interviewing, and seize on any question that seems interesting or obscure to get at things they think might make a difference.
When I interview, it takes me TWO HOURS just to cover a series of specific, narrowly crafted questions about the work alone. Who has time for this bile?
[quote="mahorstman"]When I interview, it takes me TWO HOURS just to cover a series of specific, narrowly crafted questions about the work alone. Who has time for this bile?[/quote]
Oh, thank you for saying this! I came to a recent conclusion that I shouldn't interview in a room without a clock since a good one can run very long.
I’m in the middle of hiring. I had a great help from the mentioned podcasts and this discussion.
But another thing that really helped me was going through the Interviewing series included in the Premium content. That gave me a deeper understanding for listening to what the interviewee is and is not saying and also evaluating the answers.
Otherwise, I wouldn’t have known what to do with the interesting reactions to the “Tell me about a work related experience in which you had to apologize” question. To see their faces, the response time, what issue came up and how they presented the answer.
I had the question at the end of my list and could pretty well sum up intrapersonal behaviour, cultural and skills from only this question.
Great stuff. Thanks Mike & Mark
You're quite welcome! Glad you're getting value.