If you’re like most job seekers, you’ve probably attended at least a few interviews by now. But have you ever participated in a peer interview? Peer interviews are a great way to learn more about the company and potential colleagues. Not sure what to ask? Here are four questions that will help get the conversation started.
Although hiring managers and HR reps are the most visible members of the hiring team during the interview process, they are not the only people who will influence the final hiring decision. In fact, a candidate’s fate is often partially decided by a team of “secret interviewers” whom the candidate never meets — that is, the organization’s existing employees.
Many candidates never meet their potential colleagues — but, if you’re lucky, you may get the chance to sit down with your possible future teammates in a peer interview. If you are one of the lucky ones who get to meet their “secret interviewers” in person, here are four questions you should be sure to ask them.
Most people are nervous about interviewing for a job. But what if the interview was with your future coworkers? Peer interviews are becoming increasingly popular because they can help you determine how well you’ll get along with other employees, which is crucial to your long-term success in the company. Asking these four questions during a peer interview will help give them insight into who you are and whether or not you’d be a good fit for their organization.
While your potential colleagues tell you about themselves and their jobs, make sure that you listen actively and show genuine interest in what they have to say. Asking follow-up questions is a great way to demonstrate that you care about your future colleagues’ answers and truly want to know more about them and their roles.
If you approach a potential colleague and introduce yourself in an appropriate way, then they are likely to feel appreciated and have a good impression of you. If you ask them about themselves and their jobs, this will provide them with an opportunity to talk about themselves which they enjoy. Take the time during this introduction to show your interest in what they have to say by listening actively and asking them questions so that they can go deeper into what they do. Make sure that it is not all one-sided conversation though because it is important to listen attentively and show interest in everyone.
Listen to each person’s answer carefully, and if you find that your particular strengths match some of their hopes, then you have a great opportunity to sell yourself to the team. For example, if a few of your future teammates say they hope the new hire can bring some organizational skills to the team, you can tell them about your own organizational skills.
In order to convince your future team that you will be a great addition to the team, listen to their hopes and dreams about the new hire. If you find that one of those hopes matches your strengths, then do not hesitate to tell them. For example, if they hope the new hire can bring organizational skills, then you should tell them about your own organizational skills.
Being a team player is a must. There are a lot of habits that you might be working on to build your career as well as be a better person. One habit that is important for any individual to have is being able to work collaboratively with others, as this will help you grow as a person and as an employee. Asking this question allows your future colleagues to share their preferences about how they would like to collaborate and communicate which will make them feel valued. This question also shows that you are willing and able to adapt to the communication and collaboration styles of the team.
These four questions should go a long way toward proving to your future colleagues that you can adapt to the team and make meaningful and valuable contributions. This will help you to get the team on your side, who will hopefully vouch for you to the hiring manager, increasing your chances of landing the job.
- Can you tell me about yourself? …
- How would you describe yourself? …
- What type of work environment do you enjoy? …
- What type of company culture do you work best in? …
- How did you hear about this position? …
- What did you do in your last/current job?
The Peer Interview: a Practical Guide for HR
7. What role do you perform in a team environment?
Teams usually have people who perform certain roles within the group. For example, some members may be leaders, while others are followers or mediators. A solid team usually has a mix of personalities, so any position is potentially valuable. It’s also normal for people to shift between roles depending on the circumstances.
Outline the role you usually fill, providing an example to show how it’s beneficial. If you shift positions depending on the situation, you can discuss that as well, ensuring the interviewer knows how you adapt to various circumstances.
1. How would you handle a conflict with a coworker without addressing your supervisor?
An interviewer might ask this question to see how you approach problematic situations and also asses your communication skills. Your answer should demonstrate your ability to resolve conflict without involving authority.
Example: “I would talk to them face-to-face in a private setting and acknowledge any wrong-doing on my part. I would also ask them for suggestions as to how I could prevent conflict in the future, and emphasize my wanting to work through it together.”
6. What do you think are the most important aspects of communication?
An interviewer asks this question to see what you value about communication and how you would communicate in the workplace. Your answer should provide an explanation for the factors you include.
Example: “The most important aspects of communication to me are active listening, clarification and feedback. Active listening is integral to making sure the speaker feels valued and understood. Clarification promotes direct and clear communication through both verbal and written mediums while feedback allows room for improvement and praise which motivates people to do better.”