Just a year ago, I sat nervously on one side of the interview table, anxiously responding to questions, hoping to make a good impression. Fast forward to today, and I find myself on the other side of that same table, now as an interviewer, assessing candidates for a technical role. This surreal shift in perspective has not only been an eye-opener but has also offered me valuable insights into the interview process that I believe are worth sharing.
1. It's Not Just What You Know, It's How You Think
One of the first things I learned is that technical interviews aren't solely about assessing your knowledge. They're more about understanding your thought process and how you approach problems, especially unexpected ones. As an interviewer, I was more impressed by candidates who thoroughly talked through their process, even if they didn't arrive at a solution, than those who solved problems without clear explanations.
2. The 'Olympic Judge' Perspective
Choosing between candidates reminded me of being a judge at an Olympic gymnastics event. It’s not just about technical skill; the 'artistic delivery' matters equally. To win that gold medal – or in this case, the job – candidates need to demonstrate both their technical prowess and their personality. It's about showing who you are and what you bring to the table.
3. Honesty Over Perfection
Admitting you don't know an answer can be challenging, but it's a sign of bravery and honesty. As an interviewer, I respected candidates who admitted their limitations but showed eagerness to learn. Making up answers or being evasive was easily noticeable and definitely not appreciated.
4. Be Authentically You
An interview is your stage. Use it to capture your interviewer's attention by sharing stories and anecdotes that highlight your capabilities. It’s understandable to be nervous, but focusing on your stories rather than your nerves can help you appear more relaxed and genuine.
5. Beyond the Resume: Seeing the Real Person
As an interviewer, I learned to look beyond the resume. It's important to get to know candidates as individuals – think of it like a first date. Asking open-ended questions that reveal their personality and work ethic can be incredibly revealing. When it’s hard to decide between two final candidates, unbiasedly assess them on technical skills, soft skills, and personality.
It's essential to give each candidate, regardless of their level of experience or background, a fair chance. Remember, everyone started somewhere. Hiring someone less experienced might seem riskier, but they often bring fresh perspectives, loyalty, and a willingness to learn.
This unique experience has not only deepened my understanding of the interview process but also heightened my empathy towards candidates. Being on the other side of the interview table has been a journey of learning, growth, and appreciation for the diverse paths that lead talented individuals to these crucial career moments.
About Celine Valentine
Celine Valentine is a passionate advocate for bridging the worlds of education and technology. With a background in both fields, she shares valuable insights and resources to empower growth and innovation. Join her on CelineValentine.com for thought leadership in onboarding and enablement.