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Interviews from a Job-seekers Perspective

Anyone who has ever been long enough unemployed knows what it is like to be on the other end of an interview. No one should be surprised when employees stay in a company for more than 5 years, the fear of putting yourself on the line for a new job is better left to people actively seeking employment. Many people might say that they hate their job but you can be guaranteed the same people hate job hunting just as much. We take a look at 5 questions that will put off the most seasoned job hunter. Each of these question are straight forward but are not good questions to ask at an interview. It also depends on the wage that you are offering. If it is a part time position to my mind you have no real reason to ask these 5 questions or if the position is for under 15euro.

1. Why do you want to work here?

This is such a cumbersome question to ask an interviewee. Before asking this question find out how long they have been looking for work. Be careful not to be bias when you find the person sitting in front of you has been looking for work for the past 6 months. This is not unusual in an era of high unemployment. The most likely answer to this question will be, "I need to work, I can work, I am hard working and I need a wage... I need to live." Your not a charity but you have to realize that anyone who has been looking for work for more than 6 months is struggling and will take any kind of work, and over the last 6 months has probably taken a huge amount of small jobs that they are not mentioning on their CV.

If interviewee is working, your right to ask why do they want to work in your company. Why do they want to move? Don't be direct with either question. Remember your having a general conversation and set questions while good can cause a good prospective employee to lose concentration and become dejected. You don't want to do this to an interviewee.

2. Where do you want to be in 5 years?

This is the most ridiculous question to put to an interviewee. Again the question shouldn't be asked for smaller roles in any organisation. Think about it, the interviewee is being asked do you see yourself in a part time/low paid job in 5 years. The indisputably answer to that question is "absolutely not". No interviewee is going going be truthful to that question. As an employer if you are offering a part-time job or a low paid job do you really think you are going to have a low turnover of staff? Lets face the fact that someone going for a low paid job will leave that job as soon as a better job comes along.

This question is good when you are looking for someone to take on a well paid position in your organisation, even then it needs to be dealt with carefully. You need to find out why the person is leaving their current position and how long they have worked in that position, if they are unemployed why they've been unsuccessful in getting a good position in other companies. Like any other employee if a new more exciting job appears they'll give notice.

3. How would you make an immediate impact on the business?

Again what position are you filling. If it is part-time and low waged the interviewee should reply: "Will my impact to the business result in a full time job or a bonus?". It is unlikely that you'll get such an answer from an interviewee as it is simply rude and if someone did ask they've probably not got the job.

The answer to this question will be rehearsed, and will tell you little of the interviewees intentions. If the role is a sales role the question should be unnecessary as they interviewee should be able to sell themselves, if an interviewee going for a sales position isn't selling themselves, they aren't suited to sales.

The other question is what do you consider immediate. Day 1, hour 1 or month 1?

4. Tell me about a time when you succeeded under pressure.

Don't be so direct with this question. Pressure can be felt in many different ways. A interviewee isn't going to tell you about the time they worked for a boss who was a complete bully put them under pressure and never gave them credit even though they got high results for the company and in the end they had a nervous breakdown resulting in a lawsuit, which they successfully won!

I question why anyone should ever be under pressure. Again some people are constantly under pressure and may get nothing done, while others may just think this is normal, "it's how I worked most of my life, it's not pressure."

I worked for a company where in one section the staff were under pressure everyday, they didn't realize it until one day a member of another section joined the team. After a week that employee wanted go back to the other division. That is not to say that the other division wasn't under pressure.

5. What skills do you have that make you a good fit for this job?

While it is relevant it should be apparent after having a conversation with the interviewee what their skills are, just don't be so direct with the question. Skills are different to experience, if your interviewing for a low paid call centre job and a person with lots of call centre and customer care enters the interview but fails to be pleasant but then a pleasant person with no experience of customer care enters the interview, you should know that the experienced unfriendly person won't be a good fit.