Speed dating helps singles rapidly screen a large number of potential dates. The concept is simple and straightforward. Individuals looking for a date have a five-minute interview with the first potential one; then a bell goes off, and they move to another five-minute interview, until they’ve interviewed everyone who has caught their eye.
As the digital world tends to break the mould, even when it comes to recruiting processes, this same concept has arrived in the form of speed interviewing.
When preparing for a speed interview, you must realize the importance of making an immediate positive impression. Just like in speed dating. Be dressed for success and meet each new interviewer with a firm handshake, a smile, and solid eye contact.
Prepare your elevator pitch in advance, focusing on that employer and opportunity. These are three tricky questions many companies might ask.
What has your job search been like so far?
There’s no a right or wrong answer to this. It depends on the circumstances—yours and the companies. An effective answer could go like: “I’m interviewing, but your company is among my top choices; how soon would you like someone to start?”
What is your relationship with your current boss like?
However it is, it’s important not to be negative (for it doesn’t reflect well professionally) nor to make them out to be the messiah. Focus your answer on the positive things that you’ve learned from them, things that you can apply to your new role.
Out of the other candidates, who would you say is the strongest?
“I am the strongest” is the obvious answer. It emits self-belief and confidence. The problem: you cannot quantify it. It’s also the answer every other candidate will probably give. Instead, reiterate that you are only focused on what you can do and how you can do it; then concede that if there is someone better suited now, you will go away and work on improving your skills for when a future position arises.
The questions are designed to be more direct because there’s no time to explain them as thoroughly as in a traditional interview; use it as an opportunity to sharpen your communication skills. Plus, there are usually several companies in speed interview meetings—take advantage of it as a way of networking for future opportunities.