Be An Interview Jedi
We’ve all been there in the interview. That moment where they ask you if you have any questions, and you think “Yes, but we’ve kind of covered them in the interview… I have these few I prepared, but it doesn’t seem appropriate now… errrrr”.
What do you say? What do you do in that awkward moment? How do you ask a question that still makes you seem like a fantastic prospect?
I’ve been both sides of the table through numerous interviews, and here’s three tips, starting at simple and working to the Jedi mind-trick:
- “Is it fun working here?” It’s a good question. It can often slightly knock your interviewer slightly off kilter, as it’s personal. You will get their personal opinion – and you will learn a lot from
how qualified an answer you get. It’s hard not to give a genuine answer to this – if it really is fun, you’ll see the interviewer open up. And if it’s not fun, well, you don’t want to work somewhere where it’s not fun, do you?
- “So, do you have any concerns or reservations about me as fit for the role?” It’s a great question. You get a sense of their impressions, and the chance to potentially go over any reservations or concerns the interviewer has. When I was first asked this as an interviewer it took me aback, but I was impressed by the question. Here’s the warning though – you might get brutal honesty, so put your thickest skin on.
- “Can I ask why I got invited to this interview?” Jedi Mind Trick territory here. By asking this question, the interviewer tells you all the positive things they’ve been told about you, or they found in your CV. They actually tell you. To your face. They speak them out loud – how great you are, what they like, what their colleagues and peers have said about you.
Here’s where psychology kicks in. One of the most respected psychologists in the world is called Robert Cialdini. He scientifically tested theories of influence, and proved a number of key principles. Two of these – Social Proof and Consistency – are at play when you ask this question. Social Proof – the interviewer recognises what others have seen in you, and wants to conform with their view; and Consistency – by having the interviewer list all your positive attributes, they create a desire to remain consistent with the positive things they’ve just spoken out loud about you. You’ve asked them to say these things out loud, but it doesn’t lessen the impact.
We did warn you: “These are not the droids you’re looking for”. Be an interview Jedi.