This week's lecture material covered the topic of interviewing for a job. The article, misleadingly titled "Secret Interview Techniques", failed to deliver any real secrets to the interview process. Rather, it set about detailing some very important and what I believe to be fundamental criteria that any job seeker should be aware of.
The article begins by touching on why it is that employers put potential candidates through the interview process. It's due to a number of reasons, all of which are aiming to discover what kind of employee you are. The trick here is that we will typically go into an interview with the notion that we have to sell ourselves to the employer in order to get what we want and we would do this by wearing a chip on our shoulder and highlighting all the things that make us great, when in actual fact the employer is trying to discover all the things that you're trying to keep hidden - in fact it's the premise under which interview questions are often selected. The questions asked in an interview process are designed carefully with the intent to get the prospect to let down their guard and open up by engaging them in thought provoking dialogue. Asking behavioral questions disguised as simple "What would you rather" type questions is a common tactic employed during the interview process and being aware of this is your first step to success in my opinion.
Further to this point, a tremendous amount of resources are spent by research entities in order to streamline and create the most efficient line of questioning in an interview. Remember that just like the job you're applying for, there is a job for people to better the application process. The interview process has matured and changed over the years - A research paper published by Timothy A. Judge and Chad A. Higgins from the University of Iowa shows us that employers have all but disregarded the 'conventional wisdom' in the interview process. "Until very recently, the interview, as typically conducted, was through to be plagues by many problems", including a low reliability among interviewers regarding what questions should be asked, applicant appearance and gender as well as aesthetic bias, more weight given to negative information than positive information and so on. What this means is that for years, the interview process has been skewed by the personal preference of the hiring persons and not objectively performed as they should be in order to give every applicant a fair chance.
P-O Fit was developed on the premise that organisations may benefit from hiring employees based on their fit with the culture and goals of an organisation rather than just the requirements of a particular job, (Bowen, Ledford, and Nathan, 199) this is a common theme in interviews today - I myself have personally been hired based on my personality and fit within a team even though I lacked the skills necessary to fulfill my role ideally. I was told by my boss that the skills I needed could be learned, however my work ethic was something I've developed through my personal experience and was more valuable to him.
The article then moves into an anecdotal example of the writer's experience with a job application - it's humorous and really quite entertaining but the situation described here isn't one that mirror's what most graduates will encounter upon leaving school. However I don't believe the point of the story was to simply tell an interesting tale, rather it was to highlight that in order to get a job, you must be willing to think outside the box, or more specifically, thinking laterally and you must also be willing to take the initiative and put your self in the position where these opportunities can present themselves.
The third point the article mentions, is arguably the most important one and that is to network. The reason I say this is the most important of the topics is because it's one that anyone can begin working on right now. Getting out of your comfort zone and finding people within the industry doesn't cost you anything other than your time and it is well worth your time to work your way into the industry at your earliest convenience. Rubbing shoulders with people in the industry doesn't necessarily mean that you'll get a job once you're ready, but the old adage of "It's not what you know, it's who you know" has rung true for generations and shoes no signs of being proven wrong anytime soon. I feel that students are in the best position to do this - simply put, they have the time to invest into this task. Most people, once game fully employed, are restricted by the hours and days in which they work - student however, although I'll admit we have a significant work load, can manage our time freely and choose our days and hours (for the most part). I have been on both sides of this fence - a student, alumni and now student again, as well as full time employed and making networking sessions during the working week can be quite stressful. However just the other week, I shuffled my schedule around and made my way down the the IGDAM (Game devs meetup) in the city where I introduced myself a number of professional who are currently involved in exactly the type of work I'm striving for!
The final section of the article is broken up into smaller sections, all of which tackle the questions asked and asked from you in the the interview. The article goes on to describe trick questions, why it's important to ask questions of your own as well as the phone interview which typically precedes the face to face interview, where you'll be judged solely on your ability to answer and the content of your answer to questions.
In summary I believe that this weeks material can be summed up with a phrase that I've liked for some time: "Failure to prepare is preparing to fail". This means that it pays to be aware of what it is that you're doing. If you're applying for a job, do yourself a favor and be prepared for what is to come. You know that the interview process is an integral, unavoidable part of the application process and you know that it usually begins with a phone call. So before you pick up the phone or set a date and time, do your homework! Know the company that you're applying for, the position that you're applying for, be prepared for the questions that the company will ask you. What skills do you need for the role and do you have them? If you don't and you think that's detrimental to your success then what steps will you take in order to satisfy that criteria? Why do you want the role and why does it have to be at this company? Be prepared to think and be prepared with answers; it all goes a long way in showing how serious you are about the job you're applying for. Remember that rarely will you ever be the only person applying for a job - look at the climate around you: we're in an incredibly over saturated market with an all time high unemployment rate so what is it about you that separates you from your competition? What have you done previously in other roles, or at school, or at home or to help a friend that demonstrates your ability as a person to think, act or perform a task well or better than somebody else? Knowing the answers to some of these questions or at least sparing a thought for these situations will assist you when it comes time to actually interviewing for that dream job.
Timothy-judgecom. (2016). Timothy-judgecom. Retrieved 30 June, 2016, from http://www.timothy-judge.com/Judge, Higgins,
Sae creative institute. (2015). Medium. Retrieved 30 June, 2016, from https://medium.com/self-directed-practitioners/week-8-secret-interview-techniques-8cdd5b225eee