Most candidates are prepared and ready for questions asked of them by the interviewer. Those questions are usually about work experiences and results achieved. Candidates spend less time preparing for their own questions to the interviewer. Big mistake. Here are the questions you need to ask, and the reasons why they’re important:
There are two opportunities for you to make a major impression with an interviewer through high impact questions. Both questions will position you as a top candidate for the job you’re pursuing. One question is asked at the beginning of your first screening interview. The second question is asked near the end of your first interview with the hiring manager.
During the screening interview – One of the critical pieces of information you want to know at the earliest possible time is what are the key issues the hiring manager wants to solve? If you know the answer to that question, you have an advantage over all other candidates. Every hiring manager is looking for that special experience or knowledge that will help move the organization forward. The best way to find the answer to that question is to ask the interviewer at the beginning of the screening interview: “Just out of curiosity, what was it about my resume that drew your interest to me?” The answer will tell you what the interviewer sees in your resume that matches the needs of the organization. If the interviewer is a seasoned professional and defers to answer your question, he or she will understand the power of the question and will see you as a bright and insightful candidate. Either way, you get to move up the list of top candidates.
During the first interview with the hiring manager – Usually the hiring manager’s interview will have three parts: To help you become comfortable, then ask questions about your background and experiences, with the last part for you to ask questions of the hiring manager. Most candidates don’t understand the opportunity to impress the hiring manager with these questions. Don’t ask questions about vacations, pay (save it for later when your value to the organization is understood), benefits (if you’re their candidate you’ll be receiving a packet of information), and so on. The question you need to ask is, “What are your expectations for results within the first 6 to 12 months for this position?” This question sets you up as a goal-oriented, achievement-driven candidate. Other candidates will pale by comparison. Another question of this type is, “What are the issues you need to have resolved as the top priorities for this position?” Once the hiring manager talks about his/her needs, you have the opportunity to discuss similar results you’ve accomplished in the past or alternatives that you’ve successfully adapted to a similar situation. You now become the “go-to” candidate of choice.
There are a number of ways to get key information that will favorably position you in the eyes of the hiring manager. These are just two.
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