A few years ago I found myself in a bar having a coffee with the studio manager of a company that created games for children on smartphones. It was an informal interview process. The interview went somehow well and badly.
Good because this person showed me real numbers and the idea of working on games that reached so many people was stimulating for me. Bad because I did not seem very interested in the development of these games, but just in the economic benefits.
When it came to my time to ask questions, I asked a simple one: How do you rate the quality of the game designers’ work? What makes you say “Paolo, you did a good job”?
The gentleman replied sarcastically: “If I’m drinking champagne from Prada shoes, it means that you did a good job!”
I immediately got up, thanked him for the interview, paid for our coffee and left.
Prepare your questions
Many colleagues find it uncomfortable when we are allowed to ask questions at an interview. I’m not waiting for anything else! Before of the interview, I study in detail everything I can. I go into detail, explore each text on the company’s website and prepare my questions. I have always noticed that it is a key moment.
Especially people at a senior level who are also lucky enough to have a job already, should not forget that an interview is a conversation between two parties. The company is examining us, but we are also examining the company. A great brand is not enough, the news is full of horrible stories about what real life is like in famous and successful companies.
I wish I could write down the questions I always ask, but there aren’t any.
- First, I carefully study the offer in every single word.
- Then I study the company’s website in detail.
- I proceed to look at their titles and the reviews they receive.
- Finally I study the history of the company on crunchbase and other similar sites to understand how they got where they are.
I find myself with a lot of questions and filter a maximum of three, from which I lead the conversation!
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