When you interview with an employer, it's not unusual to get introduced to staff members other than the interviewer during your visit. Dave Jensen's new Tooling Up article on interviewing includes this advice (number 18, under During the Interview) for that very situation:
- Assume that everyone you talk with on interview day will be involved in the decision to hire, no matter how they are introduced. Answers to the "candid" questions you're asked by prospective peers often make it back to the hiring manager. You are interviewing no matter where these conversations take place--in the hallway, the lunchroom, or while walking through the plant.
Last week, a posting in the Careers blog at U.S. News and World Report directly supports this piece of advice. Business owner G.L. Hill, one of the bloggers at U.S. News, says his company uses these meet-and-greet encounters as a way of finding out how an employee prospect interacts with coworkers. Hill says mastering these brief meetings is crucial to the candidate. Yet, says Hill, "Most fail due to lack of planning. Or they believe the job interview is over-and are trying their best to get out the door and have no time to be nice to some random person they just met."
Hill adds, "Realize that the interview is not over until you are out of sight. This does not mean you have to develop an oversize personality overnight and become Mr. or Ms. Extrovert, but know that how you interact with others has become more important than ever."
Hill suggests practicing for these seemingly impromptu encounters, because in Hill's company--and probably many others--there's nothing impromptu about them.