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You should always prepare yourself for the questions you might get asked in a job interview…and how you are going to answer them. Doing your homework will give you confidence and help prevent embarrassment.
But beware. If all you do during your interview is answer questions without asking any yourself, you’re going to come across as a pretty passive job candidate who’s not that interested in the job.
Here are 7 tried and true questions to make you look good and open up a relaxed conversation with any employer or recruiter.
What is the top priority the person in this position must accomplish in the first 30 days? The first 90 days? This is perhaps the most important question you can ask. It will reveal what’s really important to the employer in the candidate they hire. And when you ask about time frames for goals to be accomplished, you show that you are not afraid to be challenged with deadlines for important tasks.
Who will I work with most closely? When you ask this you show that you value teamwork. You also create the opportunity for you and the interviewer to talk about someone other than yourself.
Who will I report to directly? This question should lead to many more about how the company is organized. If the interviewer is not the person you would be reporting to, you will probably need to interview with your future boss before you are hired. This is a great opportunity to learn learn what’s important to your potential supervisor before you meet with them.
Why did you come to this company? This line of questioning helps you build rapport with the interviewer and perhaps learn things about the company that would not normally be revealed in an interview.
Who previously held this position? This is a way to find out why the last person in the job left and what the company thought of their performance. Employers are always eager to replace a good employee with someone of equal quality and avoid making the mistake of hiring someone who resembles a person that failed at the job. It’s good to know who you are being compared to.
Do you have any hesitations about my qualifications? Listen carefully to what the interviewer says and read between the lines. This is your chance to address any doubts about your skills and ability.
What is the next step in the hiring process? This should open up the opportunity for you to ask about other candidates who are under consideration. Be direct. Let them know you are very interested in the job and will be calling them back to follow up. If the interviewer discourages you from doing that and suggests instead that you wait until you hear from them…it’s a hint that you are not high on the list of candidates for the job.
Finally, and this goes without saying, you always want to search Google for all the information you can gather about the employer and the interviewer. You are expected to be interested enough to do this research. If you don’t do the research, it will show, and you will not look good compared to someone who took the time to find out more about the company.