It’s a common misconception that job interviews are a one-way street. Here’s a hint: they’re not! You should be interviewing your potential employer as intently as they’re interviewing you, but it’s important to make sure your questions are memorable. Andrew Sobel, author of Power Questions: Build Relationships, Win New Business, and Influence Others, notes, “If you talk to recruiters and executives who are actively hiring, they will tell you they get three types of questions: no questions, bad questions, and — very rarely — memorable questions. The candidates asking the memorable questions are usually the ones who get job offers.”
Questions like “Can you describe a typical day for someone in this position?” aren’t necessarily bad, but they have been asked a million times by a million candidates before you. Take a look at these 5 memorable questions you have to ask during your interview.
1. “What’s the most important thing I can accomplish in the first 60 days?” This question will accomplish two things: it will show the interviewer that you are ready to hit the ground running, and it will help you determine if the company is a good fit for your set of skills. Remember, an interview is an opportunity to screen companies as intently as they’re screening you. If you’re interviewing for a Marketing position and their response to this question is the office coffee order, their company is probably not the best fit for you.
2. Why? Questions such as “Why did you decided to acquire X company instead of build the product in-house?” will often be the most powerful questions in your arsenal. They show the interviewer that you have done your homework, and can also spark genuinely interesting conversations.
3. “What are the most common reasons why new hires don’t work out here?” How this question is answered will give you a good feel for company’s work environment and what is expected out of a new hire. Company culture is important and it’s best to get a feel for it sooner than later.
4. “Looking ahead to the next couple of years, what are the potential growth areas that people in the company are most excited about?” The answer to this question could provide insight to your future with the company if you get hired. It’s important that you pay attention to the answer. You don’t want to be stuck in a role for 10 years with no chance of advancement.
5. “What is the most gratifying aspect of the work you do for this company? What’s your best advice to someone starting out here?” Everyone loves to talk about themselves and the work they do. Appeal to this by asking questions that focus on the interviewer’s experience with the company. This will take the spotlight off you for a few minutes, and you will gain valuable insight from someone on the inside.
It’s important to note that you shouldn’t wait until the end of your interview to ask some of these questions. The most memorable questions are artfully woven into the dialogue of the interview from the very beginning. Michael Junge, Leadership Recruiter at Google, sat down with SavvySugar and explained why this is so important. “If you and I sat down and I had no idea of what your goals and expectations are in a new hire, I can spend the entire interview talking about elements and aspects of my background that are totally meaningless to you. And I may have experience that’s completely relevant and miss it”.
Asking these questions and encouraging a genuine conversation with your interviewer will ensure you’re a top candidate for the position!
What are your “must ask” interview questions? Leave them in the comments below!