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Thread: Interview Questions

  1. #1
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    Interview Questions

    I just had an interview for an Assistant position with a company I'd very much like to work for. I met with the hiring manager and another assistant who has been with the company for many years. I prepared for this interview a lot by reading about the company and practicing interview questions. The hiring manager asked me a few questions, very casually, like why am I looking for a new job, but then we just started talking and he asked me if I had any questions then he had to go to another meeting (not an interview) after 30 minutes. We had a nice conversation, and got along well, but I was taken aback by the fact that he didnít ask me a ton of ďnormalĒ interview questions. Then the other assistant just talked to me about the job but didnít ask me too many questions either, we just had a conversation, it lasted about a half hour. It was nice, but Iím wondering why they didnít ask questions. Not that I mind, Iíd prefer to just talk. I did find out that the last person in the position was incompatible with the manager, so maybe they just wanted to make sure I got along with him? Anyway, is this a bad sign that they didnít ask too many questions?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    There is no such thing as standard interview with normal questions. Everyone has their own style. You aren't applying to some high skill position, so they have little interest in asking questions. Getting to know your personality better is important though. Vetting you to see how you think, how you get along is important. A conversation is much more revealing than you realize while questions like "tell me about your weakness" are goofy and will get a canned, aka prepared response. In other words, you don't get much out of that if you are hiring.

    If they bothered with telling you more about the job and job expectations, then the interview was actually going well.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    I interview employment candidates. Not often, but I do it at least a couple times a year. People long ago got away from the standardized employment questionnaire. Why do you want this job and what makes you a good candidate?? Why? because everyone expects those questions and most people give the same answers! Fill in the blank.

    You have 20 minutes to sum someone up that could likely report to you for the next 10 years. It's like a marriage. No one has yet to tell me that they don't really like working with people and they are typically running late, so choose wisely.

    I do get information out of candidates, but in a conversational style, much like you describe. I get a sense of who they are, especially when you take the conversation down a path they do not see coming. I try to engage them in a way that you get a glimpse of their true personality and not set up for the identical employment candidate that gives the same pat answers every time.

    It seems like it caught you off guard.
    If so, they likely did it on purpose.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    It may be the style of interviewing.

    More importantly, did you get a chance to have your questions answered? Why is this position vacant? You mentioned liking the company very much at the start. What did you feel during the interview? Did you feel like they were distracted or rushed or unprofessional? This is a two-way street no matter what level of position you're interviewing for. Try to process any thoughts beyond your original desire to work for the company.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    This trend has been around a while now. Tech companies are notorious for this. Their interview "questions" are more like a party game. Watch:


  7. #6
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    They are likely doing 'rounds' of interviews. First screening is likely to pull 'in' candidates that they liked socially, screening 'out' candidates whose personalities didn't mesh well with them. From there, they'll likely offer second interviews to learn more about those they've hit it off with.

    Different companies allow for different methods of screening by the hiring managers. If a personality fit is the priority requirement, then that's how they'll conduct their first screening. From there, the selected candidates will likely be screened further by themselves or HR to determine best fit for a given role.

    We have a whole division that prioritizes 'person first, fit later'. They want the right personalities to join their team, and then the best role for each person can be found over time.

    Other companies do the opposite--HR will screen for company culture fits and skill fits for specific roles, then hiring managers will select from that pool.

    If you liked them, then fingers crossed for you!

  8. #7
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    I think it's fine! I've had that happen too. In my 20s I interviewed at a very prestigious company. The interviewer had grown up in a state far away but I had had a childhood penpal from there (yes old school handwritten letters!) so I just mentioned it and he wanted to go off on this tangent about how I met her, etc. After some time I figured I should make sure he knew about my professional skills so I shifted back and he said "I thought we were talking about your penpal!" (yes I got the offer). You never know. Also I've been called as a personal reference and the caller asked me no pertinent questions or no follow up questions that I would have thought would be important to ask a reference. So it might be style or it might be the interviewer is not great at interviewing. Doesn't reflect on you -except in a positive way-if you two enjoyed the conversation that's a great sign!


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