As a recruiter prepares for an interview with a potential prospect, there is a variety of processes and tactics that allow for a proper interaction between the two. While I have only three total job interviews in my short career so far, each has had their own style that allowed me to understand what the occupation entailed in regards to tasks and duties.
The most recent interview I was a part of was for the financial company Northwestern Mutual, where I applied to be an intern. Reflecting on the questions that I was asked, the main aspect that the interviewer focused on was my personality dimensions – more specifically, my conscientiousness and neuroticism. As I review the entire process, I can confidently state that their process included both a behaviorally and situationally structured interview. What this did for their perspective of me as a candidate was give insight to my reliability and validity as a member of their internship program. The financial industry is very demanding in terms of new clients, which means Northwestern Mutual’s employees must be adaptable and calm.
Looking back at this interview specifically, I often ponder what questions could have been asked to help me understand the position a bit more. I had assumed that the financial industry would increase my wealth quickly, but that ended up not being the case. One question that I would have asked as a recruiter here is, “Are you comfortable with not earning a paycheck from time to time if business is slow?” This would have at least prepared me for the months that my checking account was slim early on as an intern.
Although certain questions weren’t asked regarding the financial aspect of the business, one part that I really appreciated was when we did a mock client call. In this exercise, the interviewer posed as a potential client and I had to convince him to do business with me. During this section, I believe that my utility was being evaluated. Without knowing the language of the industry, or the comebacks to different reasons of rejection, I struggled finding my groove. However, instead of ridiculing my efforts, the recruiter was engaging and tried to improve my abilities without yet offering me the job.