Reverse Interviews

I have been thinking about the typical recruitment interviews that companies conduct to hire potential employees. Over discussions with friends, recent interviewees and my own observations, I find that the interview is not really what it is supposed to be – an interview! The focus of such discussions between an employer and a prospective employee remains focused on one outcome – is the interviewee a fit for a particular role in my company.

But, an interview is supposed to address the other side of the story as well. Ultimately, what it must do is to give the candidate an opportunity to evaluate whether he sees a possible fitment with the role or not. What companies typically restrict themselves to is a brief (and mostly extremely hazy) description of the profile and a customary “do you have any questions”? Instead, companies, especially those requiring highly-skilled labour, should start a process of “Reverse Interviewing”, wherein the candidate gets an opportunity to grill the prospective employer on the nature of work, deliverables, future prospects and other aspects of professional life. After all, why do we always look at things and attach importance to the supply side? Gone are the days when India faced supply-crunches in not only commodities, utilities & jobs, but also in other socio-economic aspects like education. Then still, why the over-riding importance to the supplier of jobs. For god’s sake, it is a buyer’s market! And companies better start realizing this.

Not only will such a move improve role-talent fitment greatly, but it can also be a tool to arrest attrition. The hundreds and thousands of employees who constantly feel “this-is-not-what-I-want-to-do” can be managed so much more effectively.

4 thoughts on “Reverse Interviews

  1. Interesting thought… haven’t ever thought of interviews that way… makes sense come to think of it. Some companies do have an overview of what the company is all about on their career websites, but yeah I do agree that there is not much of the interviewee interviewing the interviewer.

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  2. Yeah I think the process is unfair beacuse as the job opportunities have improved so has the bargaining power of interviewee. But in most interviews people do a background info gather on the Company thus if they turn up that means they are interested, where as the persons resume is the only tool company has so certainly they look for more fitment. In some cases when the interviewer asks the interviewee if He has any Qusetions. The guy tries to ask intelligent Questions to impress the interviwer, where as at this moment one shoukd ask basic Questions which would clear his doubts on the job and its role. This is my view Reverse Interview sounds like reverse auction but I am sure if that happens it would be great.

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  3. Glad to see that some people are finally picking up on the fact that interviewing is a two way process. I have had great success with reverse interviewing employers since it does make you stand out from the crowd – and you come across as someone with a spine who is not afraid to ask questions, and therefore a potential employee who knows what he wants. It is only then natural to expect that you also have questions, and that some of those can be challenging. And that’s a good thing! Because when you challenge your future employer they have to sell themselves onto you! For more information you can subscribe to my free newsletter at Best wishes, Marco


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