/ Asked by Jonathan
What might I expect to be different when getting interviewed by a technical employee or manager rather than an HR person?
Answered by Megan, Hiring Expert at Cardinal Health, on Thursday, February 20, 2014
When interviewing with an HR representative, they are typically screening for minimum qualifications, cultural fit and to assess your past performance as a predictor of future performance. To do this, HR representatives may ask a lot of general questions, such as why job changes were made, verifying responsibilities at each position and inquiring about what roles you liked most and least. In addition, to assess a cultural fit and future performance, you should expect a fair number of behavioral based questions.
Once you move on to an interview with a manager or technical employee, you should expect much more narrowly focused questions. These questions will likely be situational and you will be asked to provide precise examples. The questions may be presented in a technical manner that would not be familiar to a person outside of the given industry. Hiring managers are going to try to look for specific skill sets that will fill a void in their department as well as find a person who will fit in with their team culturally.
The key to both interviews is preparation! Write practice questions prior to your interview and be prepared with appropriate answers to each question. You may not be asked a question that is identical to those that you prepared for; but if you have a variety of examples prepared, you should be able to rather easily adapt those examples to a number of various questions.
Answered by Steve, Hiring Expert at Caterpillar Inc., on Friday, February 21, 2014
It does depend on the selection process at that company, but in general, interview questions from a HR person are going to be behavioral based and directed at determining your cultural fit for the company and if your professional values align with those of the company.  Interview questions from a technical person may also be behavioral based, but they will be looking for specific examples of how you performed specific job-related tasks in the past with the hope that your past experience will predict your future performance.  Technical interviewers will also ask specific questions about the technology you have used and will be using to determine your level of expertise in that area.
Answered by Ellen, Hiring Expert at Hospira, on Monday, February 24, 2014
More than likely the HR individual will interview for culture fit and the technical/hiring manager will get into specific questions regarding the technical aspects of the role. Be prepared to provide technical examples of your discipline to the hiring manager.  I'd also suggest you research information about the company so you can ask questions about the culture with HR.  Hope this helps.
Answered by Kelly, Hiring Expert at Merck & Co., Inc., on Thursday, April 10, 2014
Good question because the two interview types are different. HR interviews typically consist of more behavioral based questions i.e. How would you prioritize work load, How would you handle a difficult colleague. A Technical interview will be more skill based situational challenge questions. These technical interviews will be much more focused. It is always a good idea to be prepared. Do you research on the company, have examples ready, be clear and precise. Good luck with your interviews!
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