The week 4 lecture covered the topic of interviews with relation to the creative media industries and the more subtle techniques used by employers when scouting potential employees. The lecture had a strong focus on the recruitment process, namely the initial phone call and more comprehensively the interview.
From the lecture I now understand that an interview with a potential employer is a much less direct environment than I previously believed. I found it interesting that within this environment employers rely on the subtleties of their questions and then make assumptions based on your answers that are unrelated to the question itself.
From my experience with interviews it would have been nice to know some of this information before jumping into the deep end and hoping not to sink. After reading and reflecting on the lectures content I now have a different approach to interviews, namely to sell the product (me). I previously had the idea that being genuine would be a good point however it appears that there are more pressing factors in the interview scenario.
I think the most significant point in the lecture was that during an interview you will be asked the “sneaky questions” which have the intent of revealing more than you would expect from your answer. I think there are both ethical and professional issues with this tactic in interviews. Firstly to point out that not all of them are bad, for instance, asking a question like “why is there fuzz on a tennis ball?” is fine, it allows you to articulate your creative thinking process.
Questions similar to “if I looked in your fridge right now, what would I find?” are less useful, answer along the lines of “leftover pizza” and they will think “ok this guy is lazy and can’t cook for himself” when you really meant “we had some mates over to watch the state of origin and I got stuck with the leftovers”. Continuing forward, if you answer “not a lot” you would mean “it’s grocery day tomorrow so my food supply is dwindling at the moment”, they may infer that you eat out a lot and so live a more lazy lifestyle.
I find this method of discovering more about potential employees floored and quite frankly, disgusting. Employers should not rely on assumptions to understand their employees but discover their nature with more “why the fuzz?” questions instead of querying you on the contents of your fridge.
The take away message from this lecture is that you have to be prepared and on guard in interviews for the sneaky questions. Come prepared with answers to the common questions that will help you sell yourself to them as the model employee that they are looking for.
After this lecture and reflection I would do things differently in interviews than I have in the past, mostly with regards to keeping an ear out for the sneaky questions. Additionally I now am different after taking in this content as it has forced me to adopt a more cynical attitude towards questions in interviews, having to always read between the lines and assume that employers are trying to trap you with their questions.
Here are some other articles and resources I have found interesting or helpful regarding this lecture content.
This article details some helpful tips when in interviews, which are, let’s face it, one of the more intimidating scenarios we have to deal with.
Some more interview techniques.
James Day – 1002467