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Questions You Must Ask at Your Next Interview

There’s one big job interview error that almost everyone makes. Do you know what it is?

It’s not talking too much or too little. The mistake has nothing to do with what you wear. No, one of the most pervasive misconceptions about job interviews is that the interviewer asks all the questions. On the contrary, an interview is a two-way street. Asking questions is the easiest way to demonstrate an interest in the role you applied for. They also help you assess whether the role and employer are right for you.

What questions get the best responses from interviews? Make sure you ask these questions at your next interview.

Questions About the Role

There are two types of questions you need to ask during your interview. The first relates to the role and the day-to-day responsibilities that come with it. These include:

  • Who do I report to?
  • What soft skills do successful people bring to the role?
  • What are the challenges of the role?
  • What did the past role occupant do to succeed?
  • How long did the last person to occupy the role stay in the position? Why did they leave?
  • What happens during a typical day?

The answers to these questions give you a good idea of what’s expected of you and what you can expect from the job itself. Not only will they help you distinguish the job from other roles, but they’ll give you something to think about if asked back for a second interview.

Questions About the Employer

Understanding your daily responsibilities is only have of the puzzle. As you know, the structure of the organization can help or hinder you in your job and down the road as you progress in your career.

What questions draw out the answers you need? Make sure you ask:

  • How would you describe the office/company culture?
  • What do you (the interview) like about working here?
  • How does the company promote employee and team development?
  • How does the role fit in with the company’s goals and vision?
  • How does the company evaluate success?

These questions help you identify the goals and values of the company and identify whether it’s a culture that suits your working style. You’ll quickly figure out whether the employer promotes from within, fosters talent, and prioritizes engagement without ever having to ask directly.

Interviews Go Both Ways

It’s a common misconception to think that a job interview places you and only you in the hot seat. For an interview to work, it’s important for you to interview your employer, too. You will learn far more about what they expect from you and the role, which gives you a better idea of whether you’re a good fit.

Are you looking for your next IT role?

At RightStone, we place candidates with clients that are right for you. Get in touch to learn how your next consulting job could be the start of a long-term relationship.


3 Ways to Demonstrate Confidence in an Interview

Interviews often feel like you have been transported back to high school. You need to go meet new people, your clothes and appearance matter, and no matter how much you study, you still feel nervous before a test.

Just as in high school, confidence is key during an interview. Confidence makes you sound authoritative and can even make you more personable. 

Don’t worry: you don’t need to be confident. You just need to act like it (and ideally know your stuff, too). To help you conquer your first-day-of-school fears, follow these three interview tips.

#1 Make Regular Eye Contact

Eye contact can be one of the hardest things to achieve when you’re nervous, but it is important. If you look at your lap or out the window, you appear as though you’re too anxious or even distracted.

When you prepare for the interview, make sure you practice making eye contact, either with yourself in the mirror or with someone sitting opposite you.

#2 Prepare Questions Ahead of Time

“Do you have any questions for us?” It’s one question you can guarantee will come up, but will you have an answer?

This is perhaps the best opportunity to demonstrate your confidence in an interview because you get to interview them.

You may find it helpful to come up with these questions while researching the company. Make a note of them, and read over the questions in the car before you head into the building to keep them at the forefront of your mind.

Asking the right questions shows them you’re engaged both with the role and with the interview process. It also demonstrates both critical thinking and confidence.

#3 Get Rid of Negative Self Talk

What about your experience makes you least confident? Is it your skills, experience, or even when (or if) if you went to school?

Instead of relating these things in a negative manner, write them down and then re-write them in a positive sentence.

By getting rid of that negative self-talk, you’re less likely to believe it and far less likely to repeat it in an interview.  If you don’t talk negatively about yourself, then you won’t give your interview a reason to think that way about you.

Confidence Wins You New Opportunities

Being confident at a job interview isn’t something that comes naturally. It’s a skill you work on overtime.

Fortunately, a job interview isn’t high school. Your interviewer is judging you based on what you present to them, and you’re in control of that.

Are you looking for your next big opportunity? RightStone can help you ace the interview. Get in touch to learn more about what we do.


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!


4 Mistakes You Should Avoid During Your Next Interview

The interview is arguably the most pivotal phase of the entire hiring process. After a candidate has been deemed to be a potentially good fit for a role based on his or her resume and cover letter, the interview is the chance for applicant and employer alike to determine if there truly is a match between the candidate’s personality, temperament, and ability, with the unique culture of the workplace that they would be entering into. It’s crucial, therefore, for candidates to know what they should expect during a typical interview, and how they should prepare.   

Knowing what to say, what to wear, and how to compose oneself during an interview is one thing; knowing what not to say and what sort of behaviors to avoid is quite another. In this post, we’ll walk you through four common mistakes that you should be careful to avoid in your next job interview. 

1. Failing to familiarize yourself beforehand with your interview.

In most cases, employers and hiring managers will let you know before your interview who it is that you’ll be speaking with once you arrive at your prospective workplace. By taking the time beforehand to read up on your interviewer’s (or interviewers’) profile(s), you will have a better sense going in of which points of your experience you should be sure to touch upon. It will also give you a chance to see if you have any professional connections with your employer that might provide some common ground. 

2. Asking questions with answers that were provided by the job post.

Before you head into an interview, always be sure to study (and study again) the job post or other resources from which you initially learned about the opening job. No job posting will be fully comprehensive in its description of the role and its responsibilities, but they will usually provide you with answers to the most basic questions. If you ask your interviewer questions with obvious answers, that could convey a message that you’re disorganized or unable to do your homework prior to an important meeting. 

3. Failing to dress appropriately.

A candidate showing up to an interview looking scruffy, disheveled, or inappropriately dressed is sending a message that he or she might be equally careless with their work. Showing up to an interview looking groomed and sharp, on the other hand, sends a clear message that you have respect for the interviewer and that you take your professionalism seriously.

4. Being distracted by your phone.

For many of us, glancing at our phones during a conversation has become such a deeply ingrained habit that we tend to do it almost unconsciously. This may be (more or less) okay during a normal social interaction, but it can greatly harm your chances of success during a job interview. Before you go into an interview, be sure to turn your phone off so that you’ll be fully present and undistracted by incoming messages or calls.

At RightStone, we’re working with IT candidates and top employers to find connections that last. If you’re ready to start looking for an exciting new role in IT, check out our jobs page. 


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