The Job Interviewer’s Perspective

The Job Interviewer’s Perspective

 The Job Interviewer’s Perspective – a view from the other side of the table

I’ve spent a fair amount of time being interviewed but I’ve spent a lot more time on the other side of the table. As a civil servant I sat on old style promotion boards for very large departments. Sometimes that meant two and, occasionally, three weeks interviewing from nine in the morning until 5.30 at night. More recently, I’ve also done my fair share of recruitment interviewing and interviewing people on promotion to particular jobs. The experience has been enlightening.

I’ve learned for example that it isn’t only the candidates who need to prepare for the interview. Of course, like candidates, not all interviewers do prepare. But it wise to do so if you and your organization are likely to suffer the consequences of a poor decision.

The Job Interviewer’s Perspective – Performance Nerves

I didn’t expect so many interviewers to suffer from performance nerves before the interviews. Most interviewers are concerned to do a good a job and no one wants to look incompetent to candidates or fellow interviewers.

There is a unique internal dynamic to each interviewing panel. If the panel, and the candidates, are lucky there is an experienced panel chair who knows how to get the interviewers working together as a team. Chairing a panel requires leadership and management skills. Sadly, of course, many panels don’t have the benefit of good leadership. Individual panel members come to the interview with their own perspective on what is required. Good leadership means achieving a common view. It is almost inevitable though that there will be some differences of opinion.

What is it that marks someone out as special?

So, now, there you sit, having had a discussion with your fellow interviewers about the competencies required for this role and how you will test them. In comes the first candidate and you get to work. What is it that marks someone out as special?

Well, if you ask the right questions, you’ll have the facts you need about competence. But there is something else. What you remember afterwards are the candidates who engaged with you and showed a real interest in the work and the organization. And, of course, they had done their homework. If you are serious about being good interviewer, you prepare for the interview, so, naturally, you expect the candidates to show that they have done the same.

I wish all those starting out on or a continuing a job search this week every success.

Working with a coach really can help you prepare for an interview. Get in touch at the Facing a mid-career dilemmaemail address below – I offer a free half hour trial session by phone or Skype.
Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link


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