I have told candidates for years that you are sometimes judged by the questions you ask and not the answers you give. With the improved IT job market candidates that have been dormant for the last ten years have decided to look around and see what’s available. What they often discover when a company calls to schedule an interview is that ten years is a long time not be on the hot seat.
Whether you are looking for your first job after graduation or a seasoned vet who hasn’t interviewed in a long time, asking the right questions plays a big role in having a successful interview. Here is a list of questions specifically designed to further the discussion in your favor!
What challenges will I encounter in this role?
Is the challenge doable? Is it consistent with other discussions you had within the company? Give specific examples on how you handled these challenges in the past.
What are the technical and non technical criteria are you using to hire for the role?
The hiring manager is telling you what skills and experiences they need. This is a great opportunity for you to address any points you missed or reinforce topics that align with their hiring criteria. No sense in talking oranges when the interviewer wants to talk apples.
What will my first 60 days look like and how will you know if I am successful?
Know what they want and how you will graded – it does get any more basic than this.
What is the reason for the opening?
Have they turned over this role 3 times this year? Is it due to growth or internal promotion or acquisition?
What keeps you from getting sleep at night?
This is your chance to share in the dilemma of the Interviewer and provide an answer that goes directly to their pain point.
Do you think I am a viable candidate for the role?
The best question you can ask at the end of the interview. It’s the chance to see where you stand. It also gives you the opportunity to immediately address any perceived deficiencies the interviewer has in your candidacy.
Potential employers will appreciate that you have thoughtful questions to ask about their company and the role which is something many candidates forget. I have heard from many clients over the years that they often lead a candidate by asking if they have any questions as a specific measure – not just because they heard it is a good thing to ask. If you have been waiting to follow up on a few specifics based on the conversation – great. If not then reviewing this list ahead of time will be to your advantage.
That said – in my experience not every member of a hiring team is an experienced interviewer which can result in poor results and feedback. In those cases you can inject some energy into the discussion by having some open ended yet relevant questions like these in mind.
No matter who you are interviewing with it is always a good practice to review these questions as part of your pre-interview prep!