One of my all-time favorite interview experiences happened about 20 years ago. I was interviewing for a police dispatch job and the interviewing manager asked: “What would you say if I told you I didn’t think this interview was going well?”
I paused, took a big, deep breath, and smiled. And then I said: “If you don’t like the way this interview is going, then I’m probably not the right person for this job. Because what you’ve seen and heard in this interview is what you’re going to get if you hire me.”
She jotted something down on her notepad, smiled, and replied with, “Good answer.”
After they hired me, I told the manager who asked that question that it was the most interesting and unexpected query I’d ever had in an interview. She shared with me that it was her favorite question to ask, because you can learn a lot about the way people think, feel, and act from their response.
With police dispatch being a high stress job that frequently deals with difficult personalities, being able to take criticism and feedback is vital to keeping everyone safe and secure. How a person answers that question can speak volumes about how they manage challenging moments and many times their body language alone gives them away without saying a single word. Clenched fists, red faces, and visible anger or frustration told her a lot. Those people typically did not do well in a 911 dispatch position. She said she was looking for candidates who could take criticism, respond positively, and do well under pressure…and that question gave her a preview of exactly how a person would respond under those circumstances.
That is one interview that taught me the value of being prepared and having confidence in my skills and abilities. When you’re honest about who you are and what you can do for the organization, your interviewer will be able to tell what kind of employee you’ll be – and that’s why your interview skills are so important to master!
This week’s feature article is a compilation of some fantastic questions that you, as a candidate for an administrative position, can ask the interviewer. The information you’ll glean from their answers can be invaluable. If you have additional go-to questions, we’d love to hear them. Please drop us a line or share them with us on our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages, where we’ll also be posting tips to help you nail the interview all week long!
Supporting your administrative success,
P.S. Want to know how you’re doing when it comes to career organization? Take my Career Organization Quiz and find out!