Earlier this week I was sitting in a Starbucks waiting to meet with a client when I overheard a conversation nearby between two middle-aged women. As I listened more closely (eavesdropped) it became apparent that this was a job interview! You can imagine my excitement. Due to the nature of my work, I usually hear a very one-sided recap of interviews after the fact. Getting to hear one live was a treat.
It seemed as if the interview was winding down and got to the point where the hiring manager asked the interviewee if she had any questions. Bracing myself for the boring “what would a typical day’s duties look like” or “what are the growth opportunities within the company”, I was pleasantly surprised with her question.
What are your strengths and weaknesses as a manager?
I could immediately tell that the hiring manager was taken aback briefly but impressed that the woman had asked such a poignant, relevant question. As she answered, the two went back and forth discussing work styles and experience – visualizing how they would work together. After following up with a few additional, and equally bold, questions, the interview concluded very well, my client arrived, and I went on with my Tuesday.
But, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. There was something about the woman being interviewed that was so profoundly different than most of the clients I work with. She exuded a confidence and bold delivery that came with her years of experience, but can be learned by those in a younger generation (you!).
Don’t be afraid to be bold.
It shows that you’re confident, thoughtful, and genuinely interested in making sure that the job is a great fit.
Interviewers are people too.
Often, they’re just as anxious as you might be before the meeting. Treat your interview like a ‘get to know you’ meeting between two equals and you’ll make their time much more pleasant, leaving a great impression.
Prepare, prepare, prepare.
This woman had probably a decade or two of experience on most millennials but that doesn’t serve as an excuse. Do your homework and prepare relevant questions to gain insight on your potential working relationship.
Many young professionals are entirely too timid during their interviews. They try to please everyone and don’t stand for anything. Differentiate yourself by having a clear purpose and brand that you are prepared to articulate through the stories you share and, yes, the questions you ask. If your interviewer is not impressed, the job likely wasn’t a great fit for you in the long run.
Looking for more specific tips on how to nail your interview questions? Download my FREE Interview Guide here!