Post # 1
I have 4 separate interviews next week with what would be my peers if I got the job. They currently do the position I’m applying for. Obviously, you want to make a good impression, but you know that you have to work with them so you don’t want to grill them too much, you know that they’re only going to tell you what you want to hear, and you don’t want to come off as threatening by reciting all your accomplishments and why you think you’re the best person for the job.
Has anyone else had to interview with people who would be equals to them as part of their job interview? What did you talk about so it remained somewhat informal, but you still got to express that you were the most competent person for the position without possibly stepping on their feet and making them feel like you were trying to one-up them. I’m always scared to do these kinds of interviews because you never know what people who have no really have no vested interest in you beyond ‘I’m stuck having to work with this person, will I want to kill them after 5 minutes’ are going to say.
Post # 3
@ananeele: You want to remain professional. The same as if you were interviewing with a manager/supervisor in the interview.
The last company that I worked for, I always had 2 peers interview possible new hires. They were actually being groomed for management positions, so it was a training for the peers as well. After the interviews, we would discuss everything that the hiree had to say, and the biggest reasons for not hiring them, was that “they came accross as too comfortable” and said things that weren’t inappropriate, but something they shouldn’t have said in an interview.
Post # 4
@ananeele: I interview people that would be my potential peers. We do behavioral interviewing so I ask questions related to certain competancies (ie initiative, team player, etc.). I am just looking for honest answers, good eye contact, and the ability to know when to stop talking!
I always ask the interviewee if they have questions, usually they don’t as they’ve already talked to 3-4 people, and I don’t count it against them since they don’t need to ask the same question to 4 different people. But I think a good question is asking about a typical day, or asking what the interviewer likes best about the position. You shouldn’t have to lead the conversation, the person should hopefully have questions for you so you don’t have to think about how not to offend them.
Post # 5
I had a few of those interviews. I try to keep it light. I always ask them how would they describe the team. I also tell them the one thing I am trying to work on to improve myself. Another question that always seems to big is what challenges did they face and how they overcame them. I like those interviews more then with the hiring managers.
Post # 6
Are there any questions you shouldn’t ask? I’m always scared to overstep my boundaries or too sound negative. But I also don’t want to sound generic. 3 of them are on the phone because we’re all going to work in different parts of the country.
Post # 7
@ananeele: NEVER bad-talk your current job!!!!! Some people might ask why you are leaving, do NOT go into details about how your current job sucks. Thats an immediate ‘no’ at my company, regardless of how qualified you are.
I also wouldn’t ask the peer interviewers about pay/benefits. And don’t ask about working from home or flexible schedules or anything.
Post # 8
It’s a great opportunity to interview with peers! It tells me a lot if I feel comfortable with them (in terms of “do I want to work long hours with this person” not “I think I’ll ask about vacation days” or “I’ll stick my feet up on the desk”).
I have interviewed with peers many times. Treat them similar to an interview with a supervisor (in terms of response to questions – you don’t want to appear smug or lazy to either). Don’t overthink it. The only difference is that I tailor my questions to the peers versus supervisors. So with a supervisor I might ask about direction of the department, or review process, while with someone higher up than supervisor I can ask about direction of the company. With a peer I can ask them to describe a typical day, or ask about the management style of the supervisor, what is most challenging/what is most enjoyable about the job. I think asking intelligent questions is an often overlooked part of the interview. While it gives you information, it also gives the potential employer information about you based on what you ask about.
Also as another poster mentioned, don’t be afraid to say you have no questions after interview number 5 of the day. (Don’t do it for 1, 2 or 3 though if you can avoid it.)
Post # 9
Phone interviews are tough. Try very hard not to talk over anyone (which can be hard).
Don’t ask about benefits, such as vacation days. If you are afraid about sounding generic, just remember you only need 1 good question to stand out and show you did your homework – whether that’s a rumor about a potential merger for a company, or a question for the interviewer based on the background research that you did. Also, if you are worried about generic questions, avoid the “you” questions: Why do you like to work here, or why did you join this company, etc. Ask something such as “What can this department improve upon?” Google interview questions to ask and you’ll come up with a lot. Again, tailor, tailor, tailor to the person interviewing you and the type of company. For example, in a recent state job I asked how a state budget crisis affected their dept, which I wouldn’t ask for the private company. I ask the person running the committee on associate development about review process/feedback and the person on the pro bono committee about pro bono/community aspects.
If I feel an interview is going ok but not fabulously, I’ve actually said, “What hesitations do you have about me that I might be able to address?” No need to ask if it’s going swimmingly, but I think this has worked well for me in selected situations because it gives you a chance to directly address any concerns that they might have. (It’s bold though! But very very rare question.) Of course, be prepared if it’s not something you can fix. For example I interviewed for a place an hour away from me once and afterwrads they told me the reason I didn’t get the job was because they worried I didn’t have the ties there and wouldn’t want to stay. There’s not a lot you can say to change their minds about that. But you still try, tell them why you are excited to work there for that company and that city, why long-term stability in one job matters, how you put down roots in every place you live, etc.
Post # 10
@ananeele: ive only done one peer interview but it was with five peers so it was kind of overwhelming. in the end it wasnt bad. i would ask them their backgrounds during introductions. then id pull out things from your background to show likeness. peer interviews are about you being a team player and “being one of them”.
my peer interview was my final interview. my first two were individual interviews with my supervisors, so that was when i tried to shine and show i was the bestest on the block!
Post # 11
From the other side of things I am the one that interviews people at my work place (I have no idea how I got that honor). The people I am interviewing would do the very same thing I do.
For me a deal breaker is any type of judgmental or know it all attitude, especially as I am typically younger than the potential candidate. I would say the most important thing to remember is that you will be equals and to hold back on any overzealous and oober ambitious type comments until you are chatting with someone higher up. No one is going to recommend someone that threatens their position within a company, it just isn’t going to happen.
Post # 12
Well 9 interviews down! I was supposed to find out yesterday if I made it to the final round with the VP but I haven’t heard yet. Getting a little scared now.