How to Handle an Interview With Prospective Co-Workers

How to Handle an Interview With Prospective Co-Workers

It’s always important to take the time to prepare for a job interview prospective managers and recruiters from human resources. However, you may also be expected to meet with prospective co-workers at the company.

What the Company Wants to Know

Many employers want to make sure that you will fit in with the company culture and the team of people you will be working with. In order to assess your fit as a candidate, you may also have formal or informal meetings with colleagues at or below your level on the organizational chart.

Who You Will Meet With

During the interview, you may meet with colleagues in the department you would be working in or employees from another department you would interact with. You may meet with people who work on the team you would be part of. If the position is management level, you may meet with the people who would be working for you if you were hired and with other management staff.

Employers typically seek input from anyone who might have encountered a candidate so it is important to pay careful attention to how you conduct your interaction and meetings with would be co-workers.

Employers will often frame meetings with potential co-workers as an opportunity for you to gain perspective on the job, as well as the company and its culture, but don’t make the mistake of viewing these sessions solely as opportunities for you to learn.

Who Will be Checking You Out

Certainly you should be prepared to ask good questions about the job and organization.  However, you should recognize that everything you do or say will be noticed and may show up on a candidate evaluation form.  Be prepared to answer some questions even though that might not be the stated purpose of your meeting.

The type of questions which you ask co-workers can paint a negative picture of your attitude if you aren’t careful, so pose questions which are positively or neutrally slanted.

For example, if you are curious about what it would be like to work for a manager, you might say “Could you describe Ms. Parker ‘s management style?” rather than “What are Ms. Parker’s strengths and weaknesses as a manager”?

How the Interview Will Be Conducted

 The interview may be a formal job interview with a question and answer session. Or it may be a more casual interview with a discussion type format. Either way, be prepared to be asked and to answer questions.

Tips for Interviewing With Prospective Co-Workers

Be engaged. Co-workers will often be concerned about whether it would be fun, interesting and/or comfortable to work with you.  Make sure you are attentive to your interpersonal behaviors during the interview.  Be respectful, appreciative and interested in whomever you meet regardless of their job.

Be nice to everyone. Don’t disrespect or overlook the employees who greet you.  In group situations, try to pay equal attention to all of the co-worker’s present and avoid the tendency to focus mainly on the individuals with whom you have the best immediate chemistry.

Be humble. Co-workers are more likely to embrace a modest colleague who gives credit to team members and support staff.  So be careful to present your strengths in a matter of fact manner and avoid appearing to be full of yourself.  Your prospective co-workers will look for reasons to avoid hiring someone who might try to make them look inferior.

Be yourself. Remember that if you’re hired you will be spending a lot of time with the people you’re meeting. Be yourself so they can get an idea of what it’s like to work with you. Also evaluate them so you can be sure that you want to work with them. This is an opportunity for both you and your potential colleagues to evaluate whether the job and the company are right for you.

Say thank you. Get the contact information of everyone whom you meet.  Send a thank-you email right away to your potential co-workers as well to managers.  If an administrative assistant was very helpful in setting up your day, consider sending a card expressing your gratitude. Thanking your potential colleagues shows them that you would be an asset to the team and that you care about more than just your first impression.

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  • November 30, 2021