There are two ways to look at this. Sometimes the best interview questions are the ones you are prepared to answer. This gives you confidence. We spend a lot of time prepping clients to confidently answer the obvious questions.
The other side of the coin is the best questions YOU should be asking. The key to asking a good question is preparation and curiosity.
What do you want to know? Think it through in advance. Do your research. Look smart in the conversation. Here are some of the best questions to consider asking:
- What are the company’s objectives and how well are they doing hitting them in the last two year? Ask this question of all the people you interview with at the company to see whether everyone in the company understands the company goals. Do they understand them in the same way? This is a reflection of company communication.If the past predicts the future, does the performance in the last two years indicate success in the future? If there have been issues in the past two years, a good follow up question would be to ask what the company is doing to change that trend.
- What is it like to work here? A variation on this question is to ask how you would describe the culture here. Listen for consistency in the answers. Does it sound like the people are engaged with the mission and enjoy working there? Listen for descriptions that match your goals. You want to be happy with the people you work with and the company culture.
- What are the three top goals for this job in the first 90 days? Listen for whether they have thought this through. If they can’t give a clear answer and seem unclear on the priorities, it is unlikely this will change when you start work. The answer to this question could give you insight into whether the expectations are reasonable. If the answers are inconsistent, ask for more clarification on the important issues.
- What is the biggest obstacle the person in this job will face? The answer will give you clues about what it is like to work there. You are looking for some perspective about problems they might not ordinarily discuss.
- Thinking of the person who held this position most recently, what made his/her performance outstanding? You want some idea of who you are following. If the person was fabulous, you can pick up tips to help your success, like how to get along, office politics, and office work ethic. If the person was awful, what can you do to avoid problems so you are successful?
Bottom line; do research in advance so you know about the company. Ask the same questions of everyone so you can validate your research. Be curious. It is your future. Be sure you are making the right choice.
Other Interview Doctor blogs you might be interested in:
Don’t just live with bad interviews.
If you are having trouble with interviews or you have come in second more than once for a job, we can help.