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Show Up Prepared – What Questions You Should Ask at Your Interview

“Do you have any questions for us?”

It’s the one question you know will come your way at the end of every interview, but it’s one many candidates struggle to answer.

There’s a strategy for nailing down the questions you should ask at your interview, and you can break it down into two parts. Keep reading to look like a well-prepared professional at your next interview.

Three Tips for Asking Better Questions at Your Job Interview

Ask Questions About the Company

You want to know what you’re walking into on your first day in a new office. So, questions about the organizational strategy and culture a great place to start.

Ask questions about your first 30, 90, and 365 days in the new role. A few basic questions to ask include:

  • What support is available to new hires?
  • How do performance review processes work? How often do they happen?
  • What three words would you see to describe the company culture?
  • Where do you see the company in five years?
  • What does the typical career path look like?

Do some research before the interview to make your questions as specific as possible. Use the company website, LinkedIn, and any press available to generate more targeted questions.

Ask Questions about the Role

Once you choose the most relevant questions about the company, start thinking more about the role itself. In many ways, these are the most important questions because they give you and the hiring manager an indication of the scenario the new hire will enter.

A few questions to ask about the role include:

  • Is the role new?
  • If it’s not new, who occupied it before now?
  • What is the top priority for the role?
  • What is the team like?
  • What kind of personalities exists on the team?
  • What times of the year are the busiest?

 

Why ask these questions? They will help you identify why the role exists, how it supports the organizational strategy, and whether it is the kind of space you want to enter. The answers to these questions will also help you negotiate a salary that you believe aligns with the position’s true responsibilities.

Write Down 3 Questions Before Your Interview

Asking questions at your interview doesn’t just make you look prepared. It also empowers you to negotiate the rest of the hiring process with a deft hand.

If you find it difficult to remember a list of questions, narrow your choices down to only three of the most important things you want to know about the job or company. Then, compare the answers between interviews to make a more strategic decision.

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How to Ask Interview Questions that Help You Uncover the Character of a Job Seeker

Every employer understands that the interview is a critically important stage in the course of the recruitment process. By building a successful interview strategy, employers are much more likely to gain a clear and reliable picture of a candidate’s unique strengths, weaknesses, and career goals. A poorly-defined or underprepared strategy, on the other hand, can often lead employers to miss a golden hiring opportunity or, conversely, to hire someone who is unfit for the role.

So what does an ideal interview strategy for employers actually look like?

Asking questions that are designed to get a sense of a candidate’s technical skills and professional background is obviously vitally important. That said, those questions should not take up the entire interview. In addition to probing a candidate for his or her particular technical skills, it’s equally important for interviewers to ask questions aimed at uncovering a candidate’s unique personality and character traits. This distinction – between technical expertise and characterological strength – is often referred to as “hard skills” versus “soft skills”.

Here are some examples of interview questions that will help you to gain a better sense of a candidate’s personality, character, and interpersonal abilities:

  • Do you prefer to work alone or within a group setting? Can you explain why?

 

  • Tell me about a time that you experienced conflict with a coworker. What happened, and how did you go about resolving it?

 

  • What are your greatest passions?

 

  • What are the activities, hobbies, or pastimes that you engage in while you’re not at work?

 

  • What adjectives would your best friend use to describe you?

 

  • Who is your greatest professional influence or inspiration? Why?

 

  • Is there a book that you would recommend to someone working in this role? Why? What were the major lessons that you gleaned from reading it?

 

  • Tell me about a time that you experienced failure at a past job. What did you learn from that experience?

At the end of the day, employers should be seeking to build a comprehensive picture of a candidate during the interview process. By balancing your “hard skill” interview questions with questions that are geared towards building a picture of a candidate’s unique character, you’ll be much more likely to find someone who’s the right fit not only for the role but also for the broader culture of your workplace.

If you’re ready to connect with talented candidates who will be a perfect match for your organization, contact us today!


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