Interviews are an interesting way to land a job. It’s kind of like going on a date: Everyone is dressed up, on his or her best behavior and then you ask questions to find out more about each other. Unlike a date, in an interview there are usually three parts:
- To start off, the interviewer might say, “Let me tell you a little bit about our organization”
- The next segment usually is, “Let me ask you about your background and experiences”
- In the last part, the interviewer will frequently ask, “Do you have any questions for me?”
Let’s assume you’re prepared to effectively answer the hiring managers questions. When it’s your turn to ask the questions, it’s a chance to differentiate yourself from all the other candidates. So how do you impress the hiring manager with your questions?” You want the hiring manager to be impressed with your business sense, problem-solving ability, and desire to achieve the results that will make your future boss look good.
Here are a few questions to help you do that. They’re called Show Stopper questions. Ask your potential boss:
- “What are the key issues that need to be resolved immediately?”
- “What are the performance expectations for the new hire during the first 12 months?”
- “What must the new hire do to reach your longer term goals?”
These are powerful questions that hiring managers seldom if ever hear from a candidate. It shows your desire to perform at a high level to achieve the results required. It’s music to the ears of a hiring manager.
The key information you need to understand is found in the position description. The first five items gives you insight into the top priorities of the job. By focusing your interview responses to those priority items, you are communicating your readiness to successfully address those issues. If possible, describe how you resolved similar issues in another organization. The closer you can come to parallel your past experiences with the top five items on the position description, the nearer you are to be the ideal candidate.
- Shape your answers in a way to provide options for the solution of issues the hiring manager is facing. Lay out alternative strategies, pro’s/con’s of each approach, and the implications of different outcomes.
- Develop an interactive relationship with the hiring manager. The questions in the mind of the hiring manager will be, “What can this candidate bring to my organization that will add value to my results?” Your job is to answer that question without it being asked. The Show Stopper questions are the key to achieve the answer.
When the hiring manager sees you as a problem-solver to the issues that need resolution, you become a primary candidate. Now it’s just a question of “closing the deal”.
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