I am waiting to hear back from the hiring manager who recently interviewed me for a project coordinator position. I emailed her my references at her request. Two weeks have gone by and my references have not been called; I have not received any feedback. Interviews have always been my strongest area, which is why I am so interested in getting feedback.
From my perspective, the interview went well and flowed much more like an informal conversation. The interviewers on the panel didn’t have any forms or set interview questions. They didn’t even write down any of my responses. Any feedback from you would be great on this type of interview scenario.
Signed: Casual and Confident (CAC)
According to leading employment specialists here at JVS, there are many styles of interviews, including casual ones, interviews in non-traditional meeting places, interviews in restaurants, and those which are interrupted by constantly ringing phones and people dropping in, or even interviews which end suddenly.
It sounds like you experienced a casual interview. Hiring managers carefully choose the interview style that most reflects their hiring philosophy and workplace culture. JVS Employment Counsellors stress the importance of building rapport with the interviewer, as people tend to hire those whom they like. The ability to create a connection with a stranger during an interview is a great skill to have, and it sounds like you did this.
But there is another side to this scenario, the Counsellors warn. Treating the interviewer like a friend can be dangerous, so don’t get so comfortable that you share your personal information. Some interviewers use the casual style on purpose in order to see how you handle yourself. They may even hope that you will let your guard down and reveal some important information that you would not normally share in a formal interview. Even though you want the interviewer to like you, make sure you do not breach their (or your) personal boundaries.
Remember that it is the interviewer’s responsibility to make sure you are a suitable fit with the job and the organization. This means they may try to get a feel for how you would fit into the company culture, how you would work with other employees or the impression you might make on clients. While all this can be accomplished through business related questions, a relaxed interview that brings out your more natural personality can be even more effective.
The challenge of a relaxed interview approach is that you can be caught off guard, and share information that you were not planning to disclose, which can negatively affect the outcome of your interview. No matter what is being asked, during the entire interview — including the time before and after the formal interview — make sure to pay attention. Seasoned interviewers know that asking casual questions before, during and after the formal interview can bring out the best and worst in a candidate. While it may seem harmless to answer the casual questions, remember that you are in an interview. Your answers should be truthful, but speaking “off the cuff” can sometimes be misunderstood. Think before you speak.
Remember to keep your conversations professional at all times. This does not mean you cannot joke or tell a good story, but make sure it focuses on your talents on the job.
On a positive note, the fact that the interviewer asked for your references is a good sign. Leading organizational research confirms that a hiring manager’s mind is made up after the first 20 minutes of the interview with little hope of changing it.
Keeping my fingers crossed that you get that job offer!