Interviews are a two-way conversation. While you’re rehearsing how you’re going to answer the company’s questions, remember to make a list of the questions you are going to ask so you and your potential employer can make an informed decision about whether you can help each other succeed.
After all, asking questions is a good way to demonstrate that you’re interested in the position, and you’ve been listening attentively to what’s going on. When the interviewer gives you the opportunity to find out what you want to know, being prepared and specific will help them to see that you could be an asset on their team. To get started, here are 5 questions most employers would love to hear.
What to do you like about working here?
Most people appreciate a chance to talk about themselves. Plus, the answers could reveal some advantages to joining the company that aren’t necessarily posted on the website. It’s an especially good sign if your interviewer starts raving about how much they like their coworkers. In the long run, friendly and supportive work relationships are likely to create more job satisfaction than whimsical perks like free ice cream on Fridays or a ping pong table in the break room.
If someone asked you to describe one of your star employees, what would you say?
You’ll get more practical information if you can get beyond a standard list of positive qualities and start talking about a real person who shines at their job in the company you’re targeting. In fact, if you get hired, you might recognize the description, and discover someone you can learn from.
What do you want this position to achieve within the next 6 months or coming year?
Any employer will be happy to know that you’re eager to make a contribution instead of focusing on how many vacation days you’ll get or when you’re eligible for your first bonus. You’ll also get a sense of whether your qualifications really match what the job requires, and whether you’re likely to meet and exceed the standards.
What is your greatest challenge?
Try to find out what keeps your new boss up at night. If you can start thinking about a solution, you’ll be strengthening your position. You can also focus the discussion on your talents and accomplishments that are relevant to the company’s current needs and priorities.
Is there anything else I can do to help you evaluate my application?
Don’t shy away from any doubts or gaps that might have surfaced during the interview process. No candidate is perfect so the issue is how you overcome any factors like being fired or being currently unemployed that could lower your chances of being hired. Your potential employer might view you more favorably if they see how you own up to any mistakes, and stay focused on developing solutions.
Of course, you also want to ask the standard questions about clarifying your responsibilities, and confirming what the next steps are in the hiring process so you’ll know how to follow up. It’s a lot of information to cover so be sensitive to any clues that the interviewer needs to wrap things up. Leave them on a high note, impressed with your professionalism and insights instead of looking at their watch because you’re putting them behind schedule. As long as you’re enthusiastic and considerate, you should feel confident that you’re moving closer to landing the right job for you.
At Bishop and Company, we place great people in great jobs. If you’re searching for your next position or looking to recruit a new team member, contact us. We’ve been helping Hawaii residents and businesses since 1986.