Kimberly almost chuckled. “What do you mean, I have power? I’m the one being interviewed for the job. How do I control that?”
“Actually, it’s pretty easy,” I said. “And understand this is not through some trickery or fancy technique, but by doing two simple things.” Kimberly was all ears.
“Since most people who conduct interviews don’t know much about hiring, you have an opportunity to help them make a better decision, and, as a candidate, it usually gives you a leg up.”
“So, what are the two things?” Kimberly prompted.
“First is to find out what the decision criteria will be based on, what knowledge, skills and abilities will be required for the job.”
“How will I find that out?”
“Ask questions, direct questions about the processes, how things work and what is expected.”
“Okay, I think I can do that,” Kimberly said confidently.
“The second thing is to draw the conversation back to specific examples of what you have done, in the past, related to those skills and abilities.”
“It sounds too simple,” she protested.
“Indeed, and it’s what the interviewer should be doing in the first place. Only by defining the specific skills and behaviors for success and then supporting those with real past experience, can the interviewer make an effective decision. And, as the candidate who helped that process along, you will have the upper hand.”