Interviews can be intimidating, but if you are prepared with the right questions you can stand out to the hiring manager. Write down your questions so that you can recall and insert them at the right time during the interview. A candidate who doesn’t ask meaningful questions can appear unprepared and ambivalent. So…without further ado, here are some tips and a number of recommended questions to ask during an interview:
1. Stay Away From “What’s In It For Me” Questions
If you waste valuable interview time on these types of questions before you’ve demonstrated any value, you won’t get hired. What should you stay away from? Questions about compensation, benefits, work/life balance and promotional opportunities to name a few. Hiring Managers are looking for 2 things in the person they eventually hire: 1) Skills and experience they feel are needed for the role and 2) demonstrated an ability to help solve their problems. “What’s in it for me” questions don’t address THEIR needs. Once you’ve knocked their socks off, you will ALWAYS have an opportunity later to explore your own agenda.
2. Discover Hot Buttons And Do Your Research
You have so much information available at your fingertips – use it! The company’s website, press releases, news articles, and even LinkedIn can help you learn and generate insightful questions that tie your background to their specific needs. Listen carefully to the questions they ask – this provides clues to what is MOST important to them. Follow up your answers with clarifying questions that create a business conversation around these specific needs.
Asking questions about the company history, new service offerings, future vision, and the team are perfect for your interview. Employers love when you come prepared with questions about previous projects or clients because it shows that you took the time to research the company.
3. What Is It About My Resume That Caught Your Attention?
This is a great question to ask for a number of reasons. First, it gives you the opportunity to expand on what they like best about you—perhaps there is even more positive light you can bring forward. Secondly, it provides you with insight into what skills or other intangibles they are looking for in this new position. While employers do post thorough job descriptions, this question helps zero in on what’s MOST important and if you can discover what that is, you will be a step ahead.
4. What Are The Biggest Challenges Facing This Role In The First 6 To 12 Months?
You could be even more valuable than you think! Ask this question to see what keeps them up at night. Maybe you’ve solved their exact problem in the past and can share a specific example. Who wouldn’t want to hear about that! This question helps start that “business conversation” that is the foundation of a great interview, rather than wasting time on answering typical canned interview questions.
5. What Concerns Do You Have About My Ability To Be Successful In This Role?
There is great value in asking everyone to lay their cards on the table. It is a fair question to ask as it gives both sides the chance to be open and honest, but more importantly, it allows you the immediate opportunity to alleviate any fears or doubts they have about you in the role. You should always be given the opportunity to fight for yourself (professionally of course) and asking this question builds transparency between you and your future employer.
A quick summary of tips/questions to ask in your interview:
- Don’t focus on yourself—focus on their needs and their problems
- Do your research and discover their hot buttons
- Ask how you caught their eye
- Inquire about the specific challenges in the role
- Be open and ask what concerns they have
If you have any further questions about working with recruiters or anything about the recruiting process, give us a call at 713-357-9565. We want to give unbiased answers to your questions, whether you choose to engage our help or not.