The view from the other side of the interview desk, Part II
January 20, 2009
Now guest writer, Carmen LaTorre (Advanced Engineer from Owens Corning) is going to discuss what an interviewer looks for in potential employees...
Side of the Desk #2: The Interviewer
As the competition for engineering jobs increases, the need for engineers with certain qualities also becomes more essential to employers. Here are several key qualities that I often look for when selecting candidates:
1. Emphasis on teamwork – I discussed this in the previous section, and it cannot be overstated. Your ability to work on a team is ABSOLUTELY critical for running successful projects in industry!!! Thus, this is a highly valued trait to see during interviews.
2. Emphasis on accountability – There is significant value in an employee who does what he/she says will be done. When productivity and/or technology breakthroughs are needed to realize significant financial gains for your company, this accountability becomes even more critical. Citing specific examples of this behavior during your interview will be very helpful.
3. Emphasis on safety – This one doesn’t get talked about as much, but most corporations are putting increased resources into reducing employee accidents and the behaviors that lead to them. Employers want to feel confident that they will be hiring someone who will not put themselves or their co-workers in unsafe situations to further a project. There is absolutely no instance where demonstrating that you take needless safety risks to accomplish your work will be a desired trait.
4. Emphasis on motivational fit (job, organization, and location fit)– Your passion and enthusiasm towards your major, your career, and the job/organization/location you are applying for are indicative of your future job satisfaction with that employer. Thus, during the interview I am looking for specific ways in which you show me you can excel in the job and in the culture of the organization. This ties in with the “Find the link” discussion above.
5. Emphasis on learning (self-knowledge and decision making) – You may be asked about a time when you did not succeed, did not meet a deadline, or did not achieve a goal. It is very important to describe why the expected outcome did not occur, acknowledge your role in the outcome that did occur (without getting defensive), and use those learnings from the situation to create better outcomes in the future. These types of questions are not asked to belittle or berate you. Quite the opposite. Your answers reveal so much about your character, your ability to learn, and your desire to develop, grow, and enhance your skills.
"To be prepared is half the victory."
-Miguel De Cervantes
Authored by an ECS guest.