Job interview expert tips: How to avoid the interview runaround

Monday, March 11, 2024

Even in the best of times, it can be hard out there.

While the unemployment rate remained under 4% for the entirety of 2023, job hunting can still be a frustrating process.

A recent Business Insider article documented the experience of a tech worker who went through 17 interviews for four jobs.

For Felicia Davis, former HR executive and founder of The Black Women's Collective, the tech worker's experience could be instructive to other job seekers.

"I wish that I was working with this person, because there were so many opportunities inside of their experience where they actually could have gotten in the driver's seat," Davis said.

Understand tradeoffs, but don't compromise on values

Davis emphasized the importance for job seekers to ensure potential employers align with their values.

"If you have some clear deal breakers, then you have to really stand on that because what'll happen if you don't is you'll end up being in that organization miserable and going through the process all over again," Davis said.

Davis could have been describing the plight of the tech worker as they told BI that they began searching for a new job three months after being hired at their most recent job and have been in a job hunt cycle for two years.

One key tilt in favor of the laborer in the market is the integration of remote work, however this advantage requires that interviewees demonstrate a level of self-leadership.

"CEOs have basically tapped out of trying to get people to come fully back into the office and they are resigned to the fact that this is a hybrid work environment," Davis said. "Because of that, they want to know that since this you're going be working on your own for most of the time, they will know that you really have the mettle as a leader to really manage that type of individuality."

Ask questions to ensure fit

For those who have been searching for work over a long period of time, like the tech worker, the process of interviewing can become monotonous.

"Nobody's asked me a question that I haven't already been asked," the article's subject said. "So I have all the examples ready. It's like, 'Oh, tell me about a time when blah blah blah.' It's like, 'Oh, yeah, I know what to say for that one.'"

While being prepared for the interview is important, Davis said that stepping into the conversation, "as a leader" could help job seekers. Davis suggested that asking "how would you describe the company culture?" could provide an insight into how the company operates.

"This is an open-ended question that allows the interviewer to share their perspective on the company's culture and then whatever they say from that you can kind of peel the layers back," Davis said.

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