Dr. Joseph Barber, Senior Associate Director at Penn Career Services, published a helpful article on a job search challenge that is increasing in frequency – the reverse interview. Joseph explains that in a typical interview, most hiring managers tend to end the conversation with, “Do you have any questions for me?” In a reverse interview, this is the first and only question asked. Though Joseph has heard of this happening in all types of career fields and industries, it seems to be a trend with small start-ups with a less structured HR department, as well as during campus interviews for faculty jobs.
Preparing for this possibility with an extensive list of questions will lead to a one-sided conversation with you listening to the interviewer’s response. As Joseph describes, it is better to prepare a few strategic questions that will allow you to follow the interviewer’s answers with examples of your own. For instance, you might ask about cross-disciplinary work at their organization so that you can share stories about your own cross-disciplinary successes. Joseph provides dialogue examples and other suggestions to make a great impression.