If you’re anything like me, you hate interviews. I’m slightly awkward and generally an introvert so they take a lot of energy out of me. With that said, unfortunately they are a necessary part of landing a job. The better you do at interviews, the quicker you get hired so might as well knock them out. Due to assisting my boss in interviews I’ve heard some good and not so good interview questions.
My first and slightly creepy tip is to be as personal as possible. Know names and if possible look up their career paths on LinkedIn. I bet you’ve creeped on a stranger via social media so might as well creep on someone who could be signing your paycheck. You probably already know to always ask a question, but please make sure it’s not anything that can be learned from the company’s website (yes, this includes the company culture). As you should have already taken the time to look that over. Showing your knowledge and personality throughout the interview is obviously essential; but asking questions is your time to shine and switch seats to make the interviewer impress you. These are a few good ones that i know:
How does the organization help enable success?
I like this question because it will help determine if this company will be behind you or quick to dump you when the path gets hard.
What is something that the prior person in this position did well? What is something that they could have improved on?
If hired, the answer to this question will significantly help you succeed in your position.
What is the biggest challenge and/or obstacle you face in this job?
If you’ve already experienced the challenge they respond with and have overcome it then bonus points for you. On the other hand, if this challenge or obstacle was something that seriously stressed you out in the past then you may need to reconsider if this is the right job for you.
What are the most important traits you want someone in this position to have?
Making sure that you can relate to the traits they list here is critical for not only your overall job satisfaction but also the organizations.
(Insert personal question about interviewer’s career)
If you have the interviewer’s name do some research beforehand and ask something personal about his or her career. For instance: “How did x position prepare you for the responsibilities that you now have?” This automatically shows you put in effort prior to the interview. Also, most people are generally flattered when people know details about them.
- Is this a new role that has been created? Knowing this is critical to preparing for the actual position. If this is a new role that has been created you must prepare and expect autonomy to determine the best way to produce results. With that said, it can be also be fun carving a new role for an organization.
Do you expect the main responsibilities to change over the next six months or year?
Being thrown into an organization that is currently or is expecting to experience a lot of change can be stressful for everyone involved. It is imperative to be aware of this and how your role would change prior to accepting a job offer.
What are the performance expectations for this position over the next year?
Again, if hired a question like this will help ensure your overall success. On the other hand, if they are listing unrealistic expectations you now had your fair warning.
What are the current goals that the company is focused on, and how does this team work to support hitting those goals?
If the employer can’t clearly answer this question take that as a warning that they either are not meeting their goals or the organization is tailed more towards those who work independently.
10. Can you tell me about my direct reports? What are their strengths and the team’s biggest challenges?
If you will be managing other employees being aware of this is crucial to your team’s overall success. If you wait until you are hired and ask your employees directly they may not give you the most honest answer.
I really hope at least one person is able to take something from this post. Comment below to let me know your thoughts and any interview questions you use.