The Burning Questions on the Interviewer’s Mind

During a job interview, the employer will ask you a list of questions.  Hidden behind those questions lie the employer’s real concerns.  If you can correctly identify and address those concerns, it will give you a much better chance of getting that job.

So what are the questions behind the questions?

1.  Can you do the job?  The employer wants to know, without a doubt, that your skills and experience make you capable of fulfilling the responsibilities of the position.  To alleviate this concern, provide specific examples of your experience, and your achievements as they relate to the role.

2.  Do you have the right attitude?  All employers want to hire candidates who are positive, enthusiastic, hard working, and have strong interpersonal skills.  The last thing that the employer wants is to bring problems into the organization.  Do your best to demonstrate your positive attitude at the interview.

3.  How long will you stay?  The employer does not want to go through the trouble of bringing in a new person just to have them leave in six months.  They want to find someone who will be committed to the organization.  You can address this concern by showing the employer your enthusiasm for the position, and by telling them how it relates to your career goals.

4.  Would you be a good fit for the organization?  The employer wants to find a candidate who will fit in with the organizational culture.  They don’t want to bring someone in who will disrupt the synergy, or cause problems with the other employees.  Do some research to get a better understanding of the organizational culture, and present your skills in a way that shows that you are a good fit.

5.  Can I trust you?  Employers are always a little nervous about hiring a new person.  Some candidates appear nice, but it later becomes apparent that they have lied on their resume, or that they are otherwise dishonest.  To gain their trust, it is important that you answer their questions directly, maintain eye contact, and provide adequate references.  Never exaggerate your experience or skills; it will almost always come back to haunt you.

6.  What other benefits would you bring to the organization?   Once the employer is comfortable that you would be a positive addition to the team, they will start to think about other benefits that you could bring to the organization.  Do you speak a second language?  Do you have any unique skills or experiences that may be useful?  If so, mention them in the interview.  It may give you the edge that you need over your competition.

Even though these questions are never far from the employer’s mind, they will rarely ask you directly.  Your job is to be aware of their concerns, and to take every opportunity to alleviate them.  Most candidates are focused on themselves during the interview.  However, if you take the time to see the interview from the employer’s point of view, you will be more likely to address the right issues, and make the employer feel good about hiring you.

(Written by: Karen Bivand)

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