Are you on the hunt for a new job? Do you have a full schedule of interviews? It's likely that you want the hiring process to be painless -- this is normal. However, it might be time to look into something called a "pain interview."

Pain interviews are not as scary as they sound -- they actually provide a great opportunity for you to show off your knowledge and skills to any hiring manager interviewing you for a position.

When you are able to help a hiring manager shift away from a typical interview and toward actual business issues the hiring manager has to deal with daily -- congrats. You have successfully shifted towards a pain interview.

Forbes contributor Liz Ryan explains: "We call it pain interviewing because in the same way that a pain letter deals with the real business pain behind the job ad, a pain interview digs into what isn't working right now in your hiring manager's world."

Translation? The interview becomes less about small talk and mundane office particulars. Instead, you become an active participant in the interview, moving the focus to real business challenges that, as an employee, you can help solve.

Conducting a pain interview with a hiring manager requires you to research ahead of time the organization you are considering joining. You will need to create a "pain hypothesis" from what you learn -- what sorts of business obstacles could this manager be facing? And in what ways can you bring a solution or relief using your particular set of skills? As Ryan notes, "You can't ask your hiring manager "What isn't working here?" You have to advance a pain hypothesis and let him or her react to it."

The pain interview shows your interviewer that you are insightful, and that you can think critically about real-world business issues. During your time with the hiring manager, the advantage will be yours -- not only will the interview be more interesting and engaging, but you can make it clear that you're an undeniable asset to the team.

Published on: Apr 16, 2019
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