I try to make my blog relevant not just for future and present IT leaders in higher ed, but also for our students. They truly represent the next generation of leadership and I believe everyone in higher ed should provide some level of coaching to today's students.
On this blog, I've previously discussed what to include in a resume, tips for your interview, and the three basic interview questions. These posts help the job-seeker to prepare himself or herself for the interview, to stand apart from the other candidates. In general, I give this advice: take some "i-time" the day before the interview to reflect on your experiences. This can include things you've done in class, and in employment opportunities on & off campus. Prepare a stable of stories you can relate to the interviewer, where each story provides both context and detail of things you've done, experiences that define you.
That gets you through the main part of the interview. But many candidates often forget about the end of the interview, when the interviewer asks, "Do you have any questions for me?" When I've interviewed new people for positions, how they answer this question either underscores or undermines their strength as a candidate.
Most ask typically bland questions, such as "What's the salary?" or "When do you expect to make a decision?" or something about the benefits. To be sure, these are important and you should include them. But they don't really make a candidate stand apart. As an interviewer, I've always been more interested in the candidates who ask unexpected questions that show they are thinking about the organization and how they will fit in.
According to Jeff Haden at Inc.com, great candidates typically ask five questions:
- What do you expect/need me to accomplish in the first 60-90 days?
- What are the common attributes of your top performers?
- What are a few things that really drive results in this company?
- What do your employees usually do in their spare time?
- How do you plan to deal with ...?
Haden analyzes the questions in his article, but I think these questions show engagement, and consideration for fitting into the "culture".
Don't forget this important part of the interview.