They assume the interview process is a one-sided conversation. The most successful job seekers, however, aren’t just prepared to answer tricky questions…. they have some questions of their own up their sleeve.
It’s almost certainly going to be frowned upon if the candidate has nothing but a blank expression when asked, ‘do you have any questions?’ Even worse: asking about flexible working and salary in the first interview. Instead, ask some or all of these seven interview questions… and blow the recruiter away!
“What do you expect me to accomplish in the first six to 12 months here – and what is the one thing I can’t fail at in the first year?”
This question should give you an immediate picture of what the job entails and how your performance will be judged as soon as you step through the door. It’s a real eye-opener for the candidate: how tough is this role going to be? Are you taking on something akin to Mission Impossible?
“At this stage do you have any doubts about my suitability for this role?”
This can be an absolute killer of a question if it’s answered candidly by the hiring manager. Of course, they might brush it aside and prefer to keep their thoughts private but if they do open up and tell you what (if anything) they’re unsure about then you have the chance, there and then, to address those concerns and further state your case. If that happens you can leave the room knowing you really have done as much as you can to put yourself in the driving seat.
“What’s the history of this position?”
Is this is a new role, created due to work demand, or a fresh direction by the company? If it is, is the commitment there to develop it, is there a long term budget behind it? You may also be able to discuss performance of the position and the department it sits within: historically, how has this role contributed to the overall success of the business?
“What are the top 3 characteristics of your superstars at this company?”
Taken from this article on CBS News this is a smart question. By asking about the qualities of the star performers at the company it demonstrates the level at which you are setting your own goals – high. Not just aiming to do the job competently, but to storm it and emulate the best individuals. That’s how you value yourself.
“What happened to the last two people who had this role?”
A bit too inquisitive? Perhaps, but as you’re applying for this particular role you have a right to know the experiences of your predecessors. The answer could be revealing, and what it is will probably lead on to another. Were they promoted within the company (if so, that’s promising to see performance rewarded)? Did they leave the company to go elsewhere (if so, why did they find their progress hampered here?) If they were dismissed, was that because they failed to meet certain expectations? It might be that expectations are too high.
“What plans will be in place for my training and development?”
As suggested here. Remember, this isn’t just about you working your socks off for the company, it’s a reciprocal partnership where they invest in you and nurture your training and development as an individual. You want to grow and mature your skills with this company. If you get an unsatisfactory answer here it may give pause for thought.
“What are the next steps in the interview process?”
Perfect to conclude with, so that you know where you stand in terms of the timeframe involved. There’s no point in fretting and losing sleep because you haven’t heard anything in a week if the person leading the recruitment process has first interviews spanning three weeks and then a fortnight’s holiday before contacting candidates. Get an idea of when second interviews might be scheduled and final decisions made.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Ms. Career Girl!
About the Author: Abbi Gabasa is the Managing Editor of MsCareerGirl.com. Having the background of a Marketing and Public Relations Manager with years of professional experience in various industries has given her an insightful perspective on careers, lifestyles, relationships, and human behavior, which she humorously applies in helping people through her writing. Abbi is a big advocate of children’s charities, women empowerment, optimistic thinking, and slow Sundays. A self-confessed Jane of all trades, she hopes to help girls all over the world find their calling and pursue their passions.