If you’re looking for a job and don’t want to lose even a chance to meet your prospective interviewer, I suggest you go and meet small business owners, who can give you the job that you want.
For you and the interviewer (in this case, the business owner) the interview will not be a formal one. It will be a “chat over a cup of coffee or breakfast”.
The small business owners are highly focused on their products and services. They want to produce and sell the product first and recruiting is not their main focus and so, they may not have a dedicated Human Resources person or department. The business owners themselves may not be trained in interviewing skills and have no idea of conducting interviews.
What you can expect
First of all, don’t expect the interviewer/owner will be on time. He may have different tasks to do and the interview may not be a priority for him.
Be punctual and show that you are serious about this job. Expect a number of questions from him, like:
- Tell me about yourself
- Run me through your CV.
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Why do you want this job?
- Why do you want to leave the current job?
- What makes you different?
If you have prepared well for the above questions then you can face the interview confidently.
Interviewer is not HR person here and so, he is totally unaware of how he is conducting the interview. So, you can take initiative and lead the interview.
What you can do
- You should be prepared and confident to lead the interview. Treat this as an opportunity and prepare well.
- If the interviewer is not well prepared, you should take the lead and ask all the information about the job and the company.
- Ask the required details about the interviewer and the company. The interviewer will go on and on and tell you all the required information.
- The interviewer will tell you about the company, how it started, their future plans and about the job that you are applying for. This gives you time and opportunity to settle down and build rapport.
- Tell the interviewer the research you’ve done about the company and how much you know about the company. Impress the interviewer with this information.
- When the interviewer is going through your CV, he will go through the jobs you’ve done and the skills you’ve acquired. Provide relevant details and your key achievements in each job. After this, the interviewer will ask you whether you want to ask anything or need any more details about the job. Take initiative, and ask relevant questions like “What kind of projects I will be working on”, or, “What are company’s values and vision”. These questions show that you are interested in the job and want to think of long term.
- If the interviewer doesn’t mention about the next step, take initiative and ask him when can you expect a call/ email from him. Ask him what would be the next step—job offer or second interview.
Show your confidence no matter what type of interview you’re attending. You can highlight your key achievements with highlighter pen and explain them in detail when the opportunity arises.
Give good examples of what you’ve done—don’t wait to be asked!
So, next time someone from a small or medium sized company wants to meet you over a cup of coffee, say yes, prepare well and give the interview confidently.
I’m sure it’ll be a WIN- WIN opportunity.
About author: Avadhut Nigudkar is a Career Coach and founder of FinanceWalk.
He writes on Career Selection, Attitude building, Personal Branding, Job Search, Resume Building, Networking and Interviews