Rocking an Interview

The most effective way to get to know if someone will be a good fit for an organization is to work with them. This isn’t the method we use to determine whether we’d like to work with you… we put you through an interview. There are recruiters and managers at different skill levels with varying knowledge of the actual position. When you’re sitting with someone who doesn’t know the position well, or who may not be skilled at interviewing, you still need them to like you. Here are some ways you can prepare for anything.

Interview People

Behavioural Competencies

Skilled recruiters are looking to see if you have the capacity to do the job. If they are looking for someone with strong customer service orientation, you are going to want to demonstrate how you go above and beyond for customers with examples from past experience. You’re also going to want to demonstrate this competency in your interactions with everyone from their office. When an administrator asks you for something, get it to them quickly and be nice about it. If they need someone with strong communication skills, one word email responses from your phone might not be the best way to communicate with them. Use some common sense and find ways to show them you have what it takes for the job.


This is pretty obvious. Take a look at the job ad and make sure you can clearly communicate how your skills match what they are looking for. If you are speaking with a recruiter who is new to the field, or not as skilled at recruiting, they will be checking boxes during the interview, making sure that you have everything on their list before they let you in front of the hiring manager. While this strategy isn’t effective for recruiting, you still need them to check all those boxes in order to get to the next step in the recruitment process.

Relevant Experience

The most effective way to make sure that the interviewer understands how you are a good fit for the position is to give them a narrative or story about a time when you had to use the skills and experiences required for the position. If you have done your homework, you should know the types of projects you will be working on in this new position. Someone who isn’t skilled at recruiting will have a clearer idea about how you fit in this position if you can provide an example of a time when you worked on a project that closely resembles what you will be doing when you’re hired.

Remember that you ARE going to encounter hiring managers and recruiters who don’t know much about the position, or who aren’t that great at interviewing. It can be frustrating, but you have to remember that these are the gatekeepers between you and that job. As a recruiter, I can tell you that I have worked in organizations where I didn’t even have access to the hiring manager to ask about the position. When I encountered someone who became agitated or upset about the lack of information, it made me think twice about putting them through to the hiring manager. It makes you seem inflexible.  It may be frustrating but work through it with a little class. Your questions about the position will be answered eventually. 


About the Author

Scott-KeenanScott Keenan is a Recruiter for Priority Personnel Inc., with several years’ experience recruiting in both the public and private sectors in addition to marketing and social media roles. As a self-described professional cynic, he provides unique insight into modern recruiting from both the recruiter and candidate’s perspective. You can follow him on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn