QUESTION: What questions should I ask at the end of my interview to help me stand out?
“You have reviewed my resume and we’ve had a chance to talk about the skills and experience I bring to the role; is there anything that concerns you about my candidacy?” This is a bold question. If they give a reason, you have a chance to counter it. Another: “What is your hiring timeline?” This question gives you an idea of when to expect a yes/no.
I prefer an interactive interview. I created 20 questions, and usually select 5 or 6 that I want to ask during the interview. I always end the interview with a variation of these two questions: 1) Are there any areas in which you feel I fall short of your requirements? (If yes, address the negatives). 2) It sounds to me as if we have a great fit. What do you think?
Assuming you have developed an understanding of the role and the company, ask about challenges the winning candidate will have in the coming year. It’s also important to understand the company culture and work environment. Remember, you’re interviewing them, too! Finally, ask for the job or to move forward in the hiring process. Many employers will not offer the job if you don’t ask for it.
Ask questions that illustrate your interest in meeting the company’s needs/addressing their pain. Here are a few of my favorites: What are some of the problems that keep you up at night? If I am selected, what would be my 2-3 highest priorities the first few months of employment? If you offer me the job and a year from now give me a stellar performance review, what will I have done to earn it?
I recommend preparing 3-5 questions for the interview Q&A session. Some of my favorites include: 1) In your opinion, what makes this company a great place to work? 2) What do you see as the major internal challenges of this company? 3) Tell me about the company culture. 4) Is there anything else I can provide to help you make your decision? 5) What are the next steps in the hiring process?
Remember, an interview is an opportunity for you to find out if the position, culture and company is a good fit for you too! Not asking questions sends the message that you are either unprepared or disinterested – or both. If you want the job, be prepared to ask questions. How would you describe the company’s values? What are the biggest challenges of the job? When can I expect to hear from you?
What qualities have I demonstrated today that make me a good candidate for this position? What hurdles might someone in this position need to overcome? What can I do to ensure I remain successful in this position, if selected? What is your management style? What do you enjoy most about working for this company? What are the goals of this department/company over the next year? 5 years?
First, prepare by researching the organization online and with current employees so you naturally show you’re informed. In the interview, ask about the company’s goals; the position’s challenges, goals, expectations, and performance measurements; and the skills and experiences they’re seeking in a successful candidate. Summarize how you fit these requirements and can meet these challenges.
Recruiters want to see that you have taken a genuine interest in the role and the company. You can demonstrate critical thinking and strategic evaluation during this part of the interview with questions about: 1) how the role provides value to the team and organization, 2) recent company news or events and 3) what career progression might look like within their corporation.
“When you are evaluating my performance a year from now, what will I have done to earn your stellar review?” This question: 1) Forces the interviewer to imagine you in the job; 2) Shows that you want to be a top-notch contributor, and 3) gets the employer to clarify the key deliverables and enables you to respond and show how you can provide them.
Do your homework and ask questions that will help you better understand the company; it’s culture, your role, and their expectations. Don’t ask questions that are easily answered by the company webpage or Google. If you have asked other interviewers similar questions, you can always add “I have asked some of your colleagues this question but I am curious to hear your thoughts.”
1) Show you have done your research; I see you have expanded your market how did you prepare your sales team? 2) Draw the interview back to you and how your skills will help solve their business challenges; what in my resume indicated that I might be a good fit? 3) Be ready to tackle any challenges you may present – Is there anything that concerns you? This lets you alleviate any concerns.
Towards the end of the interview with a hiring manager, ask them specifically what they want the person in this role to accomplish in their first 90 days on the jobs. Take good notes, and then after sending the “thank you” note, 48 hours later send in a 90-day action plan outlining what you’ll do in your first 90 days on the job. Model this after the hiring manager’s answer to your question.
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