How To Ask Impressive Questions In Your Interview
The in-person interview is the most important part of the entire job application process. By being granted an interview, the employer has shown a serious interest in hiring you. It is validation that your skills and experience line up with what they need for the position. This is the final step of what is usually a somewhat lengthy and detailed process. In this interview, the person you meet with is trying to figure out if you will be the right fit for their company and culture.
For some candidates, the process of interviewing is stressful and nerve-wracking. Afterall, you are being forced to sell yourself and your skills, which is something not everyone is comfortable with. What makes this situation even more difficult is that as a candidate, you need to seize this opportunity to stand out. The candidates being interviewed most likely all have similar backgrounds to yours.
Yes, you may have certain skills that the others do not. However, the key to acing your interview is not just in displaying your value and worth. It is in the questions you ask and the conversation you have. Most interviews are a one-way street. The interviewer asks questions, the candidate answers. However, by asking the right questions, you will impress the person sitting across from you and give them something to remember when it comes time to making a decision.
Ask About the Interviewer
It’s a proven fact that people love to talk about themselves. By asking the interviewer questions about their time at the company, they will feel more engaged and connected to you. They will also be impressed that you are actively trying to learn more about the company you want to work for. To be clear, this is not an exercise in sucking up. If you ask the right questions, you can learn more about the company than those who just stick to what they read on the website.
- What do you like most about working here?
- What upcoming project or initiative are you particularly excited about?
- What are a few exciting projects you are working on or have worked on?
- What is a typical day like in your position?
- What’s one interesting thing I can’t learn about this company from your website?
Mention Company History
Hiring managers are responsible for the people that they hire. Therefore, many put a high premium on making sure you will fit with the company’s existing culture and structure. They are looking for someone who actually cares about the company they are applying to. If it appears that you only care about getting “a job” and you don’t really mind where it is, that is something they will consider a red flag. The best way to combat this is to research the company’s history and then ask questions to learn more.
- When I was researching the company, I came across a press release that mentioned _____________. Were you a part of that process / event?
- I noticed on your company’s Facebook page you recently hosted a _________ event. Is that something you do often here?
- When I was doing my research, I saw that this company has been around for about ____ years. What’s changed the most since the beginning?
Recall Content From Website
As we mentioned above, hiring managers love when candidates do their homework. It shows they care about the company and it’s a good sign they will be an employee who is invested in the long-term success of the company. Most candidates will skim the home page of the website to understand what the organization does. To stand out, you can take this a step further by clicking deeper into the site and asking questions about what you read.
- I read a blog post from your website titled “____________”. I thought it was interesting when they spoke about “___________”. Is that something your customers ask a lot about?
- I was looking at the executive leaders page and the bios posted. I was impressed how _________ used to work for ____________. Are they able to leverage that experience here?
- Out of all the services/products listed on your website, I assume ___________ is the most popular because in its description it mentioned ____________. Is that correct?
Talk About the Industry
After you have solidified your position as a unique candidate with a deep interest in the company you are applying to, it’s time to pivot. It is also key you show an interest in the industry you will be working in. If you have experience in this industry, be sure to talk about why you enjoy it, what you find interesting, and what you are looking forward to. If you are new to this industry talk about why you are excited to enter it and ask questions to showcase your willingness to learn.
- Why do you enjoy working in the __________ industry?
- What are you most excited about when it comes to the future of this industry?
- What advice would you give someone who is new to this industry?
- What change in this industry in the last five years has surprised you the most?
- Do you have any predictions about what will happen in the next five years?
Inquire About the Future
It is always important to inquire about the future of the company. This is where you will ideally spend the next few years of your career. It’s key that you can confirm it is a place where you can grow and develop. At the very least, you want to know that they have plans to expand and scale. While the hiring manager may not be able to give specifics about future projects, the right questions can showcase your interest in the company and give you some valuable insight for when it comes to accepting or rejecting their offer letter.
- What about the future of this company excites you the most?
- Are there any future product launches you can share?
- Does the company have plans to expand to new offices or locations?
- What has happened in the last year that shows this company is headed in the right direction?
When it comes to interviewing, it’s all about standing out and leaving a memorable positive impression. Being an engaged and proactive part of the conversation is the best way to accomplish both objectives. By asking these questions, you are showing the person sitting across from you that you are genuinely interested in the company you are applying to and the industry you will work in. When done correctly, this strategy will get the hiring manager excited about the prospect of adding you to the team and be much more likely to extend an offer.
Did this blog post get you excited about preparing for your next interview? If that’s the case, we would love to work with you to find the right job, land and prepare for your interviews, and get that offer letter you want and deserve.
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