Cultivating a list of questions to ask in an interview is often a rushed initiative that candidates put together at the last minute. While most candidates know the importance of asking the right questions throughout the interview process, very few of us go beyond asking the most obvious ones.
Interviewers often hear similar questions from candidates like “what do you think the biggest challenges are in this role?” and “how do you think the role will progress?” While these fundamental questions are a solid starting point, going beyond the ordinary presents an opportunity for you to stand out from the competition.
Here are five thoughtful questions that can help position yourself as a top candidate and ace the interview process:
1. What’s stopping you from hiring me?
It’s natural for an interviewer to have certain reservations, as most candidates don’t have every required skill on paper. However, very few applicants are prepared to face these reservations head on. Asking this question not only shows that you have the self-awareness that you might not be the perfect fit, but it also gives you an opportunity to address any doubt the recruiter may have about your skills and experience.
2. What could I do to make the company better or more successful?
Most CEOs, managers, and executives ask themselves this question on a daily basis. To hear it from a candidate shows you have a similar attitude and ambition as them. It also shows that you aren’t satisfied with sitting at your desk for eight hours and picking up your paycheck. Instead, it shows that you want to make a difference within the organization.
3. What are my KPIs in this role and what would success look like to you in three, six and 12 months’ time?
With this question, you can get an idea of baseline goals and whether you can see yourself fulfilling the expectations. It also demonstrates that you are goal-oriented, want to thrive in the role, and are serious about succeeding with the company.
4. How did you arrive at the company and get to your current position?
Asking this question achieves a couple of things. By showing an interest in your interviewer, you get the chance to network and develop a stronger relationship with them. Secondly, it gives you a clue as to how the company works, the type of people they hire, and how they promote their staff.
5. How did this position develop? What is its history?
Asking this question shows intellectual curiosity on your part, and it can be a great conversation starter. It also offers you a chance to learn more about the role you will be working in and whether it is a good fit for you.
These questions make for excellent interview ammunition, but it is critical to prepare for your interview with a recruiter to brainstorm other questions that may be more relevant to the specific position and industry. Be sure think on your feet during the interview and ask any relevant follow up questions. Doing so will show your interest and make you look thoughtful, well prepared, and can help the interview feel less staged.
While asking the right questions in an interview shows that you’re engaged and ambitious, it also gives you insight into if it’s a company you want to begin or continue your career at. Interview questions are just as important for you to show good faith and to establish if you’re the right fit for the company on a cultural level.
Working with a recruiting firm, like Sparks Group, can help you land your next interview. Our expert team has four decades of placing professionals in positions at top organizations at various industries. Each of our Recruiters and Account Executives leverages their deep understanding of the candidate’s respective job market to ensure we understand your skills, career objectives and growth needs, to connect you with only the most appropriate opportunities. Get invited to your next interview by finding out more about the positions we staff for and applying for one of our excellent opportunities today.