Today I had my first formal interview in over 4.5 years. The interview was for the role of configuration manager at my client. I would still remain a consultant and an employee of my company. This would be a change in my role and responsibilities for the same client I have been working with since January.
Early in my career I was not a fan of interviews. Performing in an interview is a skill that can be improved. I knew one HR director who recommended that all employees interview for a position at least once every year or even as frequently as every six months. He encouraged the behavior whether or not someone actually wanted a new job. He argued that the practice keeps you fresh. If you get an offer, it's also a way to know your value in the marketplace.
My interviewing abilities took a major leap forward when I joined the ranks of middle management and sat on the other side of the table. When you interview other people, you pick up on things right away. You know the canned answers from the genuine ones. You pick up cues from body language. You become better in an interview, yourself.
My approach to the interview today was that *I* was interviewing *THEM*. Sure if they asked me questions I'd answer them, but my goal was to get information from them about the expectations for the role. The fit must be right on both sides for it to work.
The interview went well. It helped that I have worked with the people interviewing me, and they know my track record. This would be the potential for a year-long assignment after my current assignment ends at the end of this month. If it doesn't pan out, that's okay too. There will always be new opportunities.