Articles > Getting Inside Information from the Job Interview Scheduler - by Scott Brown
This article is about leveraging the call you get from an interview scheduler to get information to help you in the interview itself. In today’s age of not enough jobs and too many applicants, every little bit of help you can acquire might make the difference in getting a job versus not getting it. The first person you usually talk to when a company is interested in hiring you is the HR person who schedules the interview.
Ask about the interview scheduler first
One of the best ways to break the ice with an HR person whose sole responsibility consists of calling and scheduling interviews for all of the managers is to ask them about themselves. Ask questions like, “How long have you been with the company? Do you like working there?” These questions are really just to break the ice and get that person talking.
Ask about the interviewer
If they have responded openly and in a friendly manner, then kindly ask them if they have a few more minutes for questions. If they assent, then start with a generic question like, “Can you tell me anything about the person/persons I will be interviewing with?” Generally, if the scheduler has any insight or information about these people, they will pass it along.
Once you open up a discussion, you can ask a few more in depth questions like, “How long has this person been with the company? Were they promoted from within or were they hired on in a managerial position? Do you have any insight on specific requirements that this person is looking for in the new candidates?”
All of these questions are generic enough to not raise any alarms but also pointed enough to provide some good insight on the interviewers if the HR person has good information. Inside information on the interviewer(s) allows you to position your approach to the interview as well as how you will style your responses and questions.
Ask about the company
Once you’ve gotten some inside info on the interviewers, spend a few minutes asking about the company. Fashion your questions so that it looks like you are really asking about the HR person. You can ask questions like, “What is the corporate culture there? Do you get a sense of closeness or family with your coworkers? Do they have extracurricular functions that I can bring my family to? What are the normal business hours?”
All of these questions are designed to give you some insight into how the company operates on a personal level and how the people are that you might be speaking with. While you can practice and prepare for most interview scenarios, there is nothing better than getting a little inside knowledge to help you along the way.
Interviews can be very stressful and if you head into your interview knowing something about the people you will interview with and also a little something about the company, your stress level will decrease and you will perform better during the interview. Once you complete your interview, whether you get the job or not, remember to send a thank you note to the HR person you spoke with.
Scott Brown is the author of the Job Search Handbook (http://www.JobSearchHandbook.com). As editor of the HireSites.com weekly newsletter on job searching, Scott has written many articles on the subject. He wrote the Job Search Handbook to provide job seekers with a complete yet easy to use guide to finding a job effectively.
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