Friday, June 3, 2016

Their Pain Your Gain

Candidate Arrives for Technical Interview

Understanding the pain of the hiring manager can give you the advantage during a technical interview situation.

First, if they have a job opening it means they have more work than their team is capable of doing with the team they currently have.  They may have lost an existing team member, or just have additional expectations from their managers.

Second, in addition to doing the job they are currently understaffed to do, they need to grow their team. This means not only sourcing, but screening and interviewing candidates.

Third, they are probably not very good at hiring.  They would never tell you this, but they were likely originally hired for their technical skill, or their skill at managing an existing team. Unless it is a start up environment most teams need only hire 2 or 3 people a year, so the typical line manager does not have a lot of experience with interviewing candidates.

Most hiring managers just want it all to end.

This is good news. This means they probably want to offer you the job. In the interview, you should focus on making yourself a "safe" candidate. This means your energy should be spent on removing doubts about your abilities.

Try to focus the conversation around your experience, and your ability to work with others.

Some people are not good team members.  They are a nightmare to work with. This means that you should talk about your experience in working with other people, and you should make it clear that these problems won’t be an issue with you. If you talk about technical things, like tools and techniques in addition to the social dynamics of the team, you will get more credibility.

Talk about projects or work you are currently doing and that you are excited about.  If you’re genuinely excited by the work it will be easy to authentically speak with a voice that showcases that passion.

When the interviewer asks you if you have any questions, ask them questions.

It’s also important that you genuinely care about the answers to the questions too. What are your thoughts about their response? Start a conversation.

Demonstrate that they care about the details of the work environment. Ask questions about the position, the role, and the company.

By understanding your interviewer and taking away their pain you can gain credibility as a candidate.