Let’s start with a joke:
Interviewer: Well, we’re nearing the end of the interview. One more question: what do you consider your worst trait?
Candidate: Oh, that’s easy. Honesty is my worst trait.
Interviewer: I don’t consider honesty as a bad trait.
Candidate: I honestly don’t care what you think.
Seriously, though, folks, the interview should be a dialogue between both parties. The candidate should be assessing the company as much as the hiring manager is assessing the candidate. Therefore, the candidate needs to prepare questions that will inform their decision regarding the opportunity. Care should be taken in developing the set of questions that will be directed towards the hiring manager. The questions should be based on the candidate’s research of the company. The questions should reflect not only industry knowledge but also a genuine interest in the specific company, as well.
In an excellent and concise article by Ann Fisher that appeared on the Fortune website, 10 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview to Really Stand Out, Ms. Fisher prepares the candidate with some insightful inquiries that not only show interest in the position but also help build rapport with the hiring manager. She also throws in a reminder to have an answer at-the-ready for the “gotcha” questions, just as the (hopefully humorous) example above.
Among Ms. Fisher’s recommended questions are:
- How would you describe the team that I would be working with in this position?
- What is most important in my first 12 to 18 months here, if I join you? Are there specific goals or milestones you would like me to reach immediately?
- What do you see as the company’s biggest opportunity/area of growth?
- In evaluating the other major companies in your industry (be able to name them), who is your top competitor, from your perspective? Why?
- What made you decide to join this company? What has persuaded you to stay?
- What excites you about the future of this company?
- What are the next steps in the process?
Asking the interviewer about their own experience in the company really does turn the interview around and provides the opportunity to be “sold” on the position and the company. Placing some of the onus on the hiring manager, in a polite and respectful manner, of course, transforms the process from an “interview” to a “meeting.”
Goodwin Recruiting is here for you during the interview process and beyond.
Goodwin Recruiting, recognized by Forbes as one of America’s Best Recruiting Firms 2020, in preparing its own candidates, provides its own unique set of suggested questions that should be considered during the interview process. We encourage our candidates to define their most important criteria in finding their next position. This approach has resulted in numerous success stories for both our candidates and clients.
Over the past 20 years, Goodwin Recruiting has established a reputation for transforming the lives of candidates and providing only the very best employees for our clients. Our developed approach ensures the proper fit between employer and employee. Built on the foundation of open and transparent communication between candidate and client, Goodwin Recruiting has partnered with companies across the hospitality, senior living and healthcare, manufacturing and engineering, and finance and accounting market segments.