Are you over-preparing for your job interview?

When most people think of “HR interview questions”, a traditional set of questions come to mind. These questions are predictable, repeatable, and easy to prepare for. Candidates also come prepared to defend their experience and their resumes. They think any gaps in timeline will meticulously be scrutinized. Candidates can over-prepare to answer questions like, “what are your strenghts and weaknesses?” or “do you prefer to work on a team or on your own?” and my personal favourite “tell me about yourself”.

Typically, when these questions get asked, the overly prepared answers are delivered. Answers that can easily be found on the Internet. Candidates are representing not who they truly are, but who they feel the interviewer wants them to be. These questions might be able to secure individuals who can handle the everyday aspects of the roles they are in contention for. However, for companies concerned over their corporate culture, these questions not only miss out on cultural-fit, but also do not accurately predict how well they will do in the role.

Interviews are similar to a consultative sale, there needs to be a discovery conversation to define what a candidate needs in a new role, what are their skills? Their background? What are the intangibles? At the end of it all, the most important question is what do they want to do? The only way to get here is getting honest answers. The goal is to have a relaxed candidate who is not put on the defensive and relying on prepared answers,  but actually thinking and speaking for themselves and relying on their experiences rather than what they think they should say.

At Intelex, our interview process is intended to foster a conversation about what you can bring to our organization, what Intelex can do for you, and what we can pull from your past experiences. For us at Intelex, preparing for the interview process means researching the company, reviewing your experiences and showing us who you are as an individual – not what something on the Internet said you should say!

Bryan Humphries is a Corporate Recruiter with Intelex’s Professional Development Office (PDO). The Intelex PDO posts advice, tips and insight on careers and professional development every second Wednesday.

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