Level up your interviews

Level up your interviews

I think that great interviews have common characteristics in them.

I also think that there is an intangible quality to great interviews – like a beat or a rhythm.

One of my colleagues told me that great interviews are also won before they ever begin and when I pressed him on what he meant, he shared his thoughts. I found myself agreeing with him and how he classified interview effectiveness into levels.

I want to share the levels here so that you can assess your own interviews and see if you can ‘level-up’ and get the job you want.

  1. Level 0: Level 0 is a question and answer about the job, the company and the person. It usually relies on the hiring manager to ask questions and keep the conversation moving.
  2. Level 1:  Your next level of interview happens when the interviewer and interviewee have done research on one another. This is a richer conversation that allows for a better connection and exploration of backgrounds and decisions that led them to where they are today.
  3. Level 2: Is when the candidate demonstrates knowledge of the market and the competitors. The effort put into researching the market often informs better questions from the candidate and allows for the hiring manager to see the way that they think about business.
  4. Level 3: At this level, you are asking questions that provoke serious thought on the part of the interviewer. You’re teaching and maybe the dynamic in the room is changing; you might be heading to Level 4.
  5. Level 4: The Interviewee is now the Interviewer – Having demonstrated mastery of the other levels you are now interviewing the employer because they are dying to have you.  They hang on your words, probably jotting down words of wisdom for later. At a certain point, they switch into full-on selling mode with you.

Each level is built on the one before it. You don’t arrive at Level 4 without mastering the others first and you will find yourself with a more integrated thought process as you understand how your skills, background, and previous experiences prepared you to tackle a new challenge with this new company and the hiring manager in front of you.

Shane Gagnon is the Director of Vancouver Operations at Clarity. He can be reached at 604.220.8500 or at shane@findingclarity.ca

Clarity Recruitment is a finance and accounting recruiting company specializing in the placement of designated accountants (CA’s, CMA’s and CGA’s) in the Greater Toronto Area. We are a tenured team of successful recruiters who have worked in the major industries across Toronto. info@findingclarity.ca



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