Three for Thursday: Better Interview Questions

killer interview questionsYou’re being judged more than you think on the questions you ask during the interview process. If the hiring manager has to spend 20 minutes of the interview being bored to tears because you’re asking the same questions as everyone else, it’s going to hurt your candidacy. Let’s break down a few characteristics that separate the great questions from the rest.

Ask the question in two-parts. Don’t know about two-part interview questions? Stop what you’re doing and read our guide. The two-part question can add an incredible amount of context and nuance to your questions. Make sure it’s part of your toolbox.

Focus on the employer’s perspective. Ask not what your employer can do for you – ask what you can do for your employer. Think about what the hiring manager wants out of this role. How would your performance affect their goals and responsibilities? How can you make their job easier? By focusing on how to make the biggest impact on the team, rather than what you’ll get out of it, you can establish yourself as a results-oriented employee who is more concerned about accomplishments than compensation.

Dive beyond the surface. Too many candidates focus on safe, easy, surface-level questions. In other words – boring questions. If you want to differentiate yourself you have to ask unique insightful questions that go deeper. Rather than ask about expectations for the role, ask about the hiring manager’s definition of success. This subtle change will yield a more personal answer and not a reiteration of the job description. Another twist on a common question: ask what skills and abilities commonly define top producers in the organization. This shows that you are critical about evaluating how you’ll fit within the company and establishes you as a candidate focused on being not just good, but great at their job.