If you’re a first-time job seeker or you’re changing industries, you may not be entirely clued up as to how interviews work these days.
The long and short of it is that there is now less room to be sly than ever, so don’t take chances. Rather take a pragmatic job hunting approach and only apply for the roles you genuinely believe a) you can deliver on and b) are aligned with your goals, culture, personality, style of work, etc.
The interview process (depending on seniority) can be anywhere between 2 and 5 rounds, but most companies worth their salt will want to do at least 3 rounds to cover the following:
Who you are. What’s your background. Strengths, weaknesses, ambitions. All the generics, really.
This is where it starts to get interesting. Any job you apply for; expect them to put you through some form of testing to determine whether or not you can actually do the job. So, if you’re a designer, it’s possible that you’ll get a creative brief or an Adobe Suite skills test. If you’re a paid media manager, you might be given a campaign brief and asked to generate the keyword lists and ad copy. If you’re an account manager, you might be put through some form of critical reasoning psychometric.
Bottom line: whatever your skillset or profession, be prepared to prove your knowledge and skill set in the interview process.
Not enough companies test for this, but more and more are starting to take it seriously. Organisations want to know that the people joining them are aligned with the core purpose and values set out by the company (if they have one). Or, they just want to make sure that their teams get on and that there aren’t severe clashes between staff.
The culture interview is normally the final hurdle after the hiring and HR managers have decided that you’re technically a good hire, but they just want to make sure that the rest of the company thinks you’re a good human.
How do they do this? There are a few ways, but often it’ll be a case of you meeting with a number of members of the team in a casual setting where you can exchange questions with one another. At the end of the session, the staff will feed their thoughts and opinions back to the hiring and HR managers and they’ll make a call on whether you’re a good fit.
The question most commonly asked to the culture interviewers is: “Would you want to sit next to this person at the year-end staff party?”
At the end of the day, make sure that you’re prepared for them to really get to know you and most importantly, make sure that you’re properly prepared to get to know them. Interviews are a two-way street and a perfect opportunity for you to ask any and every question necessary to help you make an informed decision.
Up next, a blog dedicated to the questions you can ask to get you the data you need.
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