Saturday, January 5, 2013

"Flipped Interview"

The time of year for the watching and waiting is just around the corner. That time of year when suddenly the teacher mailboxes are emptied every day. You know the one - Contract Season! Some with anticipation and some with dread, teachers start dutifully watching their boxes to see if their contract has been renewed. Some are beginning job searches and some are glad to finally be off that track. It's this time of year that I also start thinking about job interviews. I have personally had some that were great. Others... I'm glad I can generally forget them. Both in high school and college, I remember teachers and professors always willing to offer some advice about what to do or not to do on the sacred job interview. Don't wear open-toed shoes. Always be sure to shake hands and make eye contact. Bring a resume! Have you updated your portfolio? The whirl-wind and flurry is second only to the stress when it comes to an interview. What questions will they ask? What answers do they want? Am I prepared enough? Am I everything they are looking for in an ideal candidate? Ah, BINGO! The million dollar question: Am I everything THEY are looking for in an ideal candidate? Well... does it really matter if they aren't everything you are looking for in an ideal employer? Too often I see and hear professionals (including teachers) raise issue with their current employer. "I didn't know they expected this", "What do you mean this is something we support?", or "I didn't realize they block all social media". Those are the kind of questions that don't get asked on the job interview. Why? Because the future employer is the one asking all the questions! What happens if that model gets "flipped"? Let's turn the tables and allow the interviewee to ask all the questions. Why? Two-fold. One the interviewee gets to ask the questions that are important to them. These questions could affect their overall moral and productivity. They are empowered with the judgement to decide if this job will really work for them. Two, the job interviewer can take a deep look into the thought process and job understanding of the person. They too get a better feel for whether or not the person will be a fit for the company (or school). The interviewee isn't set-up with standard questions. They aren't put into a box of a list of questions. It becomes more personalized, less standardized. Give it a shot. Let me know what happens.