The Interview is your opportunity to prove that you are the person that can solve the problem for the company you have applied to…
Remember, companies don’t hire people; they hire solutions to challenges and keys to opportunities. Your job at the interview is to demonstrate how and why you are the best solution to either their biggest challenge or the key to unlocking their greatest opportunity…
A great way of demonstrating Value to the organisation is to engage the interviewer at a deeper level than simply responding to their questions; when you show you have the confidence and interest to ask great questions yourself, the interviewer will recognise that you are different and worthy of consideration…
“The questions that you will ask during the interview
are as important that the ones you will answer…”
Preparation for the interview is a must and preparing compelling questions will make you stand out from the other candidates. These questions will also:
– Tell you what you need to know about the company & determine if it is a good fit for you.
– Show that you did some research on the firm, which is the proof of your interest for the position
– Provide you substance for answering the question of the interviewer, for instance, early in the discussion you can ask him what would be the perfect profile for this position. Now that you defined his expectations and take note of his keywords, it will be easier to adapt your speech
– Help you to spot the doubts of the hiring manager. For example, if you ask what would be the reason he wouldn’t move forward with you? Then you would know which of his hesitations you have to overcome
– Show your technical expertise, your strong knowledge of the business environment & your general culture at some point
– Turn the interview into a discussion between to professional, you will be perceived as a solution provider and not a simple candidate answering questions
1 – Why is the position open and how long was the last person at this position?
You need to know the context of this recruitment.
If the answer is light and needs more development, then ask. For example, ‘why did the person only stay X months..?’
The question can seem ruthless, but knowing this information will help you avoid a potentially really bad situation.
2 – What would be the perfect candidate for you?
(Educational background, experiences, languages spoken, personality, etc…)
The answer will provide you important information. You will have the opportunity to integrate them in your speech. By using the same word the manager used, you will be able to make them resonate in his head and make him feel you clearly understood his expectations.
3 – What do you expect me to achieve the first 30, 60 and 90 days?
This is gold. You are just showing that you understand that time is money and that you are here to succeed. This question will help the manger to project you in the position, the more he can visualise you doing the job, the more you increase your chances. On your side, you will have a clear understanding of his expectations towards you and decide if you would be ready to endorse these responsibilities. This question definitely leads to another level of discussion that other candidate won’t have with the manager.
4 – What are the major strengths and weaknesses of my application?
You are asking for a direct feedback and you are totally right!
It is a powerful question demonstrating a lot of confidence and an open mind to criticism.
Now that you know your strengths, you will continue to play them up till the end of the process.On the opposite you will correct some misinformation or explain him that this weakness will not be an obstacle to your success.
5 – What is the biggest challenge of this position?
You are showing that you are here to get results. Use this moment to highlight the competences that will help you overcome this challenge.
6 – How would you describe a typical day in this position?
Critical information here! First you will have the opportunity to get insights whether or not you really want to work there. Sometimes you will realise that a task is way bigger/smaller than mentioned. Second, it will give you big clues about what the most important tasks in this position are, helpful to tailor your speech and more effectively sell yourself.
7 – Where do you think your team or service need improvement today? And how my position will contribute to it?
This one shows interest and the will to have a global picture. Another occasion to sell yourself on a different topic.
8 – How do you plan to deal with ….
Thanks to your pre-interview preparation, you did spot the present challenges of the industry and the specific one that the company is facing today. A SWOT analysis would be the foundation of this question.
9 – How would you describe your management style?
You know how important the management is. Don’t pick a job, pick a boss. This question will help you to take your decision.
10 – Where does this position fit in the long-term goal of the company?
Let’s define the purpose of this job, his security and its potential. Talking about business strategy will give you another chance to sell yourself.
11 – What do you like about working for this company?
A question that can be surprising for the manager but that will give you insights about the culture of the company and his approach as your potential future boss.
12- Based on what we discussed today, do you think I am someone who can meet the challenge of this position?
Yes, you just asked for the job. Nice move.
It is a difficult question to ask. It is bold and pushy but you have to understand that being assertive and honest in asking for the job is what gets people hired.
Don’t wait, ask for it and take it. This is how it is done.
13 – I am looking for a position like yours, when can I expect to hear from you?
Sometimes candidates are embarrassed to ask this bold question, but managers are waiting for you to ask it. It is a clear demonstration of your interest and leadership.
Asking all these questions can seem really long but it is not.
Many of them will be answered without even you asking during the discussion and for the rest you will have to wait for the manager asking you ‘do you have any questions’.
These questions will give you the edge over the other candidate plus you will leave the room with all the information and most of all the ability to determine if this is the position you are looking for.
I’m Stéphane, I am huge people person and spent five year in the financial industry but a few year ago I got inspired to get into technical recruiting. There is nothing greater than finding professional opportunities for smart people to do great things, it is a fantactic process and I feel lucky to participate in.