Gathering Information At Your Interview: Interviewing the interviewer
By Brandon Miller
Monster Generation Y Contributing Writer
Everyone knows that an interview is all about being judged.
We stress over the details on our resume, our portfolios of work, the wrinkles in our best (and in my case, only) business suit, and that last stray hair that doesn’t want to cooperate. We expect to be summed up based on how we perform. But few people go into the interview seeking to critique the interviewer.
Here are some tips on how to interview the interviewer and the company you wish to work for.
Always come prepared to the interview
Never step into an interview without the necessary tools – a pen, some paper, and a list of questions. You would be amazed with the number of interviewees who do not arm themselves with these basics.
Your questions should show that you’ve done research on the company and the industry. Informing yourself of industry standards on things like salary and benefits will allow you to see how this position stacks up against similar positions at other companies.
Observe the atmosphere in the company
It’s important that you feel comfortable at a company, and that’s why it is crucial to pay attention to your surroundings when you go in for an interview. Look around. Is the office hostile or tense? Or, conversely, is it too disorganized and relaxed for your liking? It’s much better to realize these things early on in the interview process.
Talk to everyone
You should definitely ask questions of the interviewer, but it’s important not to stop there. Why not be friendly and ask the receptionist what s/he likes about the company? If you come in contact with any other employees, ask them how long they’ve been there. It might just start a conversation and you’ll get insider opinions, and in the process, show that you are seriously interested and an eager potential employee.
Tips to remember during your interview:
1. Take notes. It shows that you’re listening and seriously interested in the position.
2. Don’t go overboard. Stick to relevant questions – things like start date, salary, and responsibilities of the position – and avoid jumping the gun. Unless casual Fridays are a deciding factor for you, leave that inquiry until you actually get the position.
3. There is such thing as a dumb question, despite what you have been told. Make sure that you know what you are talking about by doing plenty of research beforehand.