Editor’s Blog: Interviewing in the New Year

We’re only a week into the New Year and I’m sure many people are already tired of hearing about resolutions—some because we’ve already broken them, others of us because we never made them and feel a bit guilty for not even trying, and many of because it’s tiresome having to take a personal inventory of ourselves and our work life as we wonder how long we can out last our resolutions in hopes they turn into habits.

Instead of avoiding our lists or feeling overwhelmed by them, it’s important to reflect on why we make them—because we want to improve.  And, if you don’t feel good about the ‘improvement’ it’s not going to stick and it’s probably not the improvement you thought it would be.

It’s also a time to be brave and step outside our comfort zones.  When we talk about interviewing, our brains immediately click to the standard job interview. But, as we approach issues with our career path, problems within our talent acquisition process, and concerns about growth internally and externally in the workforce, interviewing within all areas of our job cycle can be the key to finding a path forward.

Interviewing isn’t just a process, it’s a tool–one we often forget to utilize to our advantage because we segment it with only one aspect of our work.

As a job seeker, even if you are only restless and not looking for a new role, sometimes going on a job interview can help you to see what it is you love about your job and how to shift your focus on the good parts about your work. But step away from the traditional interview, and even a mock interview with friends can help re-build confidence you may have lost throughout the year and remind you of your strengths to re-energize your outlook.

On the employer side, the recruitment process is constantly under re-evaluation, but sitting down and interviewing your own teams can provide the insight you really need to improve your process.

Sometimes even the best processes can have a boomerang effect if the entire leadership isn’t pulling together to build a talent strategy that grows with the organization.  After all, there is such a thing as too much great talent if you don’t have enough space for them to grow.

Often, it’s also about helping focus your internal talent on the right career trajectory.  This involves listening; understanding what motivates them and what their dreams are.  If you have top performers, don’t just reward them, take time to understand what makes them great, why they succeeded where others have not, and why they prefer certain projects or tasks within the company.

You can learn a lot about your internal team and where the problem areas are that can assist your team in not only engaging and retaining the employees you have, but also to better understand the candidates you need to be looking at the fill openings.  It’s not always just about filling a seat, but recognizing how a person fits into the bigger picture.

As an employee or job seeker, you should always be asking yourself the same questions.  Why do you like working where you are?  Is it the people, the projects, the balance?  What do you want more of and are there ways you can help your team improve? If you’re not fulfilled, you’re the one in control of your own path.

A great company is one where leadership happens at all levels.  If you want to grow or want things to change you don’t always have to wait for a promotion or an opportunity handed to you to be a leader.  Sometimes it’s the smallest changes that have the largest impact, so be brave and make your own opportunities to improve the work happening around you.

Going into this New Year, remember that interviews are not interrogations, they’re conversations.  So speak up and don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Take the time to have more meaningful conversations this year in the workplace and remember: interviewing is a life skill.  

How will you be brave this year in approaching your career or your talent acquisition process?

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About Robin Rayburn

Robin L. Rayburn is the Editor & General Manager of Robin was introduced to the recruitment industry in 2007 and her passion for people has never let her stray far from it since. In her spare time she manages her blog,, tweets from @interviewingcom and @chitowntexan, and is always striving to help those around her who have a vision for success. You can also find Robin on LinkedIn and Google+.

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One Comment

  1. Spark HireJanuary 8, 2013 at 12:35 pmReply

    Great post! As we move forward into the new year, now is the perfect time to look at your interviewing process. Resolutions are made to remind us there are always things we need to improve about our lives. When it comes to the interview, you should resolve to use it like the powerful tool it is for finding the best people. In the new year, you might even want to embrace video interviews. For instance, you can use one-way video interviews to replace phone screens. This will allow you to get more personal with talented candidates earlier in the process and save you time.

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