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Interviewing the Interviewer: Fit into the slot of a confidante without being pushy

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If you are reading this article then you are looking for tips to win an interview and looking for jobs. Most probably you have already looked up other articles on the internet and learned what everybody already knows: Be prepared, do your homework, know your route, be well dressed, establish rapport, etc., etc.

Not that while looking seriously for jobs, such tips are to be ignored. They are time tested and are considered the essentials of preparing for an interview. But then the question remains why would you read this article? If everything about going for and preparing for an interview has already been well documented and available, what more can this article offer for you? Well, to begin with, I am going to stress not on what is already told and known, but about a situation which is common enough while trying for jobs, but ignored by all.

Almost all career coaches stress on essential points taking into account that the interviewers always know their jobs. How are you going to handle it if the interviewers do not know their jobs? What if the interviewer does not know what to look for and which questions to ask? How about an interviewer who does not even want to know your name, or ask you to sit, or want to look at your resume? These are the toughest nuts to break, and more often than not they are the best of interviewers who know your resume by heart. And sometimes they are small business owners of new companies who are genuinely clueless about how to go about recruiting employees for the jobs they have. They employees, they have jobs, but either cannot afford to pay, or are not ready to trust anybody to make their choice. This article can give you some clues on how to handle such a situation.

Okay, you have already learnt about breaking the ice and establishing a relationship and all that. Only, you have never read about a situation where the interviewer seems to be totally clueless about what he/she is up to. This can also be a situation where everybody is looking at you expecting you to speak, or do something. What do you do?

Follow the rules of polite social interaction. Mind your manners and introduce yourself. Ask politely whether you may take a seat, and if the chair is in the corner, go and pick it up to place yourself within comfortable distance of the interviewer or interviewers. Don't sit too close to be pushy (maintain at the very least three to four arm lengths) and don't sit so far that you seem to be on the verge of hiding yourself.

Roll the ball and open the conversation asking straight about what the interviewer expects you to do. Do it politely but get to the point. If the answer is that the requirements of the jobs are already advertised, ask what was not in the advertisement by fulfilling which you could make the interviewer happy. Most people think that stressing on about jobs pleases the interviewer, but if it is a small business, or the kind of interviewer I am talking about, then it is wiser to maintain the line of learning how to make the person happy, instead of focusing solely on the jobs as advertised. Try to learn what the interviewer is looking for as extra qualities in a potential employee.

Once you get into the conversation, look for openings to veer off topic to popular topics (and do not express your personal opinions on any issue unless asked), and then be conscious not to waste time but lead the conversation back again to the topic at hand. Mainly, whether you can fit into any of the jobs at hand. If you can pull off this little trick with finesse, and without upsetting anybody's ego, you are already in control of the interview. But, then with a leading question relinquish the reins and place them in the interviewer's hands. A question like what is the time frame for joining. If the interviewer is clueless, usually at this point he/she would be able to pick up properly, and if it is a smart interviewer who had been playing the role of the proverbial dumb guy, then you have just made a positive impression. Good luck, with your new job.
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Popular tags:

 clues  preparation  resumes  focusing  time frame  paths  social interactions  small business  owners  interviews

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