02052: About Interviewing People

So I feel like I've spent way too much of my work life within the past year interviewing people. It's a natural consequence of working in a leadership role or with any capacity for making decisions related to hiring. But it can be an exercise that is both tiring and fascinating at the same time. People always seem to have different ideas of how to best present themselves and it doesn't always seem to highlight the aspects of their resume or skill set that we're most interested in. Life is funny that way.

Then again, I suppose a lot of folks show up at interviews expecting the interviewer to control the conversation. And thus they necessarily prepare all that much in terms of things that they might want to show and instead seem to just mentally rehearse how they might want to answer possible questions. This might be okay with fresh graduates, but it's certainly not the case for people who have worked for a few years. By then you sort of expect people to have a story in mind or at least a decent idea of the direction they want to take in terms of their career. Or at least that's what I hope.

A resume is a snapshot of your professional life and it can tell some pretty interesting stories. It's just a matter of being able to read resumes in that manner and to figure out the quirks of this or that. Plus there's the questions that candidates ask that provide interviewers with little insights into what's important to the candidate. Questions have a greater likelihood of revealing particular pain points that people have experienced in the past. There's more to be learned about the candidate in that manner. An interviewer who sticks to a set list of questions will never really learn all that much.

Interviewing is a fun process and a great way to learn more about a person. But it's still a heck of a lot of work.