How to Play Both Sides of the Interview Table

Elaine Varelas

Q. I had a really bad interview last week; not because I wasn’t prepared, but because the person interviewing me had no idea what he was doing. Interviews are hard to come by – why don’t companies train the people involved in the interview? How do I interview well when the person who is interviewing me is inexperienced, awkward, doesn’t know what to ask and keeps talking?

A. I’m sorry for your experience. Effective interviewing takes skills – from both sides of the desk.

Sadly, companies often don't look at the interview process from the candidate's point of view. Many candidates are brought in multiple times because schedules aren’t coordinated; interview schedules often take place through meals and with no restroom breaks. Often, a printed schedule with names, titles and meeting room locations is not provided in advance. All of these logistical issues can be managed very effectively if one person owns the process, especially if a company wants to show a candidate how they treat employees.

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