Tina Lewis Rowe

Insights, Information & Inspiration

Interviewing And Being Interviewed: It’s All About Competencies And Traits

Yesterday I taught a class for government and business managers and supervisors on Interviewing For Success. We focused on how to maximize the limited time available for interviewing job applicants, candidates for promotion, or employees who are seeking new opportunities within an organization.  The class is structured around key elements for developing a legal and effective process that also makes the work of the interviewers easier. One of the points I emphasize is that the concepts can be applied to both interviewing and being interviewed.

If you are interviewed for a job or a promotion or if you want to change assignments, you may have thirty minutes to an hour–maybe less–to convince the interviewers that you will do and be what the organization needs: The complete picture of good work for that job, in both performance and demeanor (competencies and traits.)  You can’t do that if you answer a question with the bare basics, then sit and wait for the next question; you can only do it by aiming each response toward your target of convincing the interviewers you possess the competencies and traits required and desired for the job. Answering two unspoken questions will help you hit that target over and over.

  1. Can you prove it? (“You say you have this skill, you say you would handle a hypothetical situation this way, you say you are this kind of person, you say this, this and this. What have you done in the past to help us believe what you say?”)
  2. So what? (“You say you have done this and that, you say you have these credentials, you say this is your philosophy, you say you have these abilities. How will that help us?)

 If you want a reminder of how vital the answers to those two unspoken questions are, listen to political speeches. From the opening words to the farewell they are full of “Here’s what I’ve done and here’s what I’ll do for you if you elect me.” When a candidate for office is asked a question, the answer almost always includes, “When I was a governor/senator/etc. I did this…….”  And, you can bet the answer will also include, “If elected I will…………….” If you want to be a successful job applicant or candidate for promotion, you should do the same thing–though in a less bombastic way!

Remember the title of this post: Interviewing And Being Interviewed: It’s All About Competencies And Traits. When you interview someone, or if you are being interviewed, keep the focus on the knowledge, skills, attitudes, work product and behaviors that are needed and wanted, and what the candidate–or you–is saying or doing that can be linked to those. That’s the key to a successful interview from either side of the table!

January 25th, 2008 Posted by | Personal and Professional Development | no comments