A reader writes:
Recently I went to an interview where they only really asked me two questions: “Tell me about yourself” and “What computer software are you familiar with.” Now, the job is very similar to the role that I am currently doing at the organization that I work for now and I know that was clear from my resume and cover letter (in fact before I even read the job description some of the phrases of my job responsibilities of my current job almost matched there’s because that is the experience that I have). But when they didn’t ask me a lot of questions, I did not know what to think of it. Was my resume that on point that there was nothing to ask?
They told me all about the position and I was sure to ask them questions in return, but it got to a point where I felt like I was reaching for questions to ask because there were times where they were quiet and not saying anything and I didn’t want to just throw in random things about myself from no where. It was just awkward.
What do you do in these situations to fill the dead spaces?
I’d ask, “What else can I tell you about me to help you figure out if this is the right fit?” And if that still doesn’t get them asking reasonable questions, I’d follow it up with, “Tell me more about the role and what’s most important to you in the person you’re hiring.” And other things designed to help you both figure out if this is the right fit — “How will you measure the success of this person six months in?” and so forth.
You can also try steering the conversation back to the job opening and your qualifications by saying something like, “Would it be OK to take a minute and lead you through my professional background? I think it’ll tie in with what you were just saying about the job.”
Should you have to basically conduct the interview for them? No. But bad interviewers aren’t necessarily abysmal managers 100% of the time (often, but not always), and it’s worth doing some digging to help you both figure it out if it might be the right fit.