Tag Archives: Interview

5 Memorable Questions You Have to Ask Your Interviewer

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!

The Do’s and Don’ts of Online Video Interviews

All that time you spent crafting a witty email subject line paid off, and you secured yourself an interview. Congratulations! You should feel good that you made it past the first round, but you still have a lot of work to do. More companies are beginning to rely on online video interview services like Take the Interview, HireVue or Active Interview to screen potential candidates. This can bring a special level of awkwardness to the interview experience, so it’s important to be prepared.  Check out the do’s and don’ts of online video interviews.

Check Your Tech:  There is nothing more annoying for an interviewer than a candidate’s slow Internet connection or a malfunctioning microphone. If you’re not already familiar with the optimal connection speed needed to complete the interview, do some research online or contact the hiring manager to find out. You can use tools like Speedtest.net to check how fast your Internet connection is, and a microphone test to see how well your microphone picks up sound.

Dress to Impress:  It’s a common misconception that dressing down is appropriate for online video interviews. Show your potential employers that you’ve done your homework and dress for the position in which you’re applying. You can use the information you collected while researching the company to determine if you need to dust off the suit in the back of your closet, or rock that Morrissey t-shirt you love so much .

Be Aware of Your Space:  Interviewers don’t want to see your collection of Beanie Babies or last night’s pizza delivery scattered across the kitchen table.  Make a strong first impression by ensuring the area you choose to complete your interview is free of clutter and is well lit.  Frank Risalvato, founder of the recruiting firm IRES Inc., notes “You need to chase all dogs or cats or whomever may be in your environment out. Too many pictures of [your] kids, artwork, junk or something random that really isn’t appropriate should be moved”.

Avoid Fidgeting and Tapping:  It’s important that the interviewers are paying attention to the questions you’re answering, and not on your inability to sit still. The team over at Take The Interview note, “If you arrive yawning and fidgeting, interviewers might not take you seriously. Keep your energy positive to convey how much you want the job”.

If you’re the nervous type (I know I am), have your friends conduct a mock-interview to help you gain familiarity with the types of questions that may be asked.When the time comes to start the interview, take a few deep breaths, relax, and let your personality shine!

Avoid Potential Interruptions:  Life is full of interruptions – loud roommates, barking dogs, crying babies – the list could go on forever. Do you best to keep all interruptions at a minimum for the length of your interview. Give your roommates a heads up, have one of your friends take your dog for a walk, and hire a babysitter for a couple of hours to ensure your interview will be free of any distractions.

Engage the Webcam:  Bring the same level of enthusiasm to an online video interview as you would to an in-person interview. Looking directly at the webcam is a simple but effective tool you can use to keep the interviewer’s attention on you. Risalvato notes, “I generally coach the person to put my window right below his or her Web camera so that their eye is naturally going to look at me”.

You will have the interviewer’s undivided attention for 10 to 15 minutes, make it count! Use short, concise statements that are clear and to the point, don’t speak too quickly, and look like you’re having fun!

Do you have experience with online video interviews? Share your examples below in the comments section!