Many job positions rely mostly on the technical skills of the candidate. For such posts, usually, the HR interview is the final step. However, in many places, teamwork and cooperative behavior are extremely essential. In such places, after the selection by HR, the candidates have to go through a peer interview.
Pay Attention To Everything
Remember that you are not there just to be interviewed but to check out how things actually are in the company. You should observe every minute detail around you. Keep your ears and eyes open wide. Try to see how the employees interact amongst themselves. It likely is how they will interact with you in the future. Try to assess if the employees work in a free environment, or there exists an intimidating tension.
While the interviewers are talking, pay attention to them. Listen to everything that they have to say and observe their body language. However, while trying to observe them, do not seem judgemental. Treat the interview as you treat any other regular interview. Don’t take it lightly but maintain a light-hearted vibe.
Let Your Peers Take The Charge Of Talking
A very smart way to ace a peer interview is to make the interviewers talk instead of you. Since it is not a regular interview where they will be assessing your skills, but a casual one when the interviewees will try to see if they can fit well with you. Instead of suiting their criteria, you can make them comfortable around you.
Ask them genuine questions which would make them feel that you are interested in them and the company. Make sure that you do not focus on just one person, but let everyone speak equally and enough. Usually, in such cases, the interviewers are happier with the candidates. However, do not dodge questions that you are asked. Answer whatever is required and get them to speak again.
Try To Build A Sense Of Friendship
A good team works on the basis of a good friendship and understanding. Since you might be working with these interviewers in the future, it could be a good decision to try to get close to them. Apart from answering the professional questions, you can attempt to find a common interest that you can talk about to bond well. Not only this helps you to build relationships, but this would also help them to rate you higher than normal. It also helps to build a natural flow for the interview.
Be Prepared With Your Questions
Peer interviews are much more interesting than HR interviews since it is a one-on-one interaction with your potential coworkers. While HRs do have a knowledge of how things work in the company, it is the actual employees who know things down to the minute details. Peer interviews are a wonderful opportunity to gather any information about the company you want.
Peer interviewing is not just a one-way interview. You are allowed to assess them as much as they are assessing you. Be prepared with your questions. Ask questions about the company, the work culture, the job duties, the motto, etc. Don’t be afraid to repeat the questions since every person and their perspective counts.
Some of the questions that you can as are:
- What do you like the most about working in this company?
- Were you happy with the company when you joined?
- What are the typical job duties in a day?
- What kind of challenges is a usual sight in the projects?
- Will I have to go through some specific training if I join?
- What skills do you use the most while working through the common projects?
- What is the hardest part of your day?
- What do you expect from me?
- How did you start working here?
When you have your prepared set of questions, you should proceed to ask some specific questions to multiple people. This enables you to gather a number of inputs through different perspectives. This is what you would require to analyze whether this company is a good fit for your skills or not. Taking inputs on the work culture might be a good question. Different employees can tell you about various details of the normal culture that persists in the company. You can even try to rephrase the questions and ask them.
Whenever an interview takes place, a candidate is asked to tell about their skills and why they are the best. However, during peer interviews, you will be interacting with people who have already been chosen for the role. While you will probably be asked to tell them about your skills, you should highly refrain from using a boastful tone.
You are allowed to share your point of view, your opinions, and your idea, however, you can do so without acting in a competitive way. Competitiveness is not a good trait to pass on during a peer interview. Remember to be humble but confident.
Some Questions You Might Be Asked
Here are some questions that you might be asked at a peer interview and some sample answers to them.
If you ever faced a conflict with your colleagues, how will you handle it?
When people work together, some conflicts are bound to arise. Your peers want to know how would you deal with them. While answering such questions you should keep in mind that they want to know about your communication skills along with conflict resolution.
I believe that any sort of conflict can be easily resolved with an open conversation. In case, there is some tension with any of my coworkers, I would ask them to sit with me for a while privately. I would then continue to express my concerns in front of them while asking them for theirs. I believe after talking calmly, we can easily reach a conclusion that would resolve all issues.
What is an ideal coworker for you?
With this question, the interviewers want to know what sort of people you like to associate with, in professional settings.
I like working with people who are good at communication and can speak to me regarding any issues that exist at work. It is also motivating if they have an empathetic and optimistic way of interacting with their coworkers.
Describe your role in a team.
Interviewers tend to assess your teamwork skills and how you would play out in such a scenario. They also wish to know if you have a leadership quality, a cooperative one, or a rebellious one.
I am usually a supportive character in a team setting. In my previous roles, I often helped to mediate any conflicts among my teammates. I also step up for leading if required in situations.
How would you treat a new hire?
Through this question, the interviewers might want to assess how would you treat someone if they were in your place.
I often try to approach the new hire since he/she might feel uncomfortable or nervous in new surroundings. I offer a helping hand and try to know stuff about him/her so that they feel relaxed and not unnoticed.
What do you expect of us?
Every question in a peer interview is targeted at your soft skills and teamwork. Therefore, you should answer this question while keeping that in your mind.
It would be great if I could receive some guidance and assistance from you in the initial days until I get used to the work. I would also love it if we could communicate openly while you provide me with your insights without any hesitance.
If a coworker approached you for help while you were busy with a lot of work, how would you handle the situation?
This question is to assess your priority along with your teamwork.
To be honest, such a situation would indeed be overwhelming. However, it is extremely important to help your teammates and uplift their spirit. Therefore, I would pause for a while and look where they are stuck, and try to help the best I can.
What if you get stuck somewhere and cannot seem to progress or solve it?
Chances are that your peers would want to know if you hesitate to approach other teammates when you are stuck and try to solve those problems on your own. In a team setting, relying on each other is extremely important and that is what you should relay to your interviewer.
Whenever such a situation arises, I approach my teammates to help me out since different perspectives and teamwork might help resolve the issue.
Peer interviews are usually the easiest part of the hiring process since it involves meeting with your potential coworkers while you both try to assess if you are a right fit for each other. You just need to be your normal self and it should be fine. We hope this list was useful to you. If you enjoyed reading it, do share it further.
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Sandeep Bhandari is the founder of PrepMyCareer.com website.
I am a full-time professional blogger, a digital marketer, and a trainer. I love anything related to the Web, and I try to learn new technologies every day.
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