Interviewing Questions: What’s the big idea?
This semester, I am taking a class that aims to prepare soon-to-be college graduates for the work force. A major topic that we focus on is the importance of interviewing.
So far, the biggest takeaway has been the significance of questions. Obviously, the questions being asked to you by the interviewer are the meat and potatoes of interview. However, what I never truly appreciated with the equal significance of asking follow up questions, especially at the end of the conversation.
There is a commonality among interview questions
We have examined how to answer the most common interview questions. But the answering and asking of questions never ceases to be a daunting process.
Of course the usual “strengths and weaknesses” makes an appearance. Some of the more interesting questions are ones that require you to reflect on yourself as a person; i.e.: “Are you a leader or a follower?” “What gets you up in the morning/what motivates you?”
With those questions, he also touched on how to make the best of any interview situation. He explained the importance of “knowing”, which includes: knowing the essence of the job you are looking for, knowing the company, and knowing what makes you a great fit.
Be sure to end with questions
But, as previously mentioned, the most important question is, “Do you have any questions for me?” Too many times have I let this pass me by, and it likely lessened my chances of getting a job or position in a club/organization.
This is your chance as the interviewee to turn the tables in an effort to sit in the driver’s seat. Sophie Deering at The Undercover Recruiter examined what questions to ask at the end of an interview.
Among these are (in no particular order):
- What do you enjoy about working here?
- Can you tell me about the people I will be working with?
- Do you have any questions or hesitations about my qualifications?
- What constitutes success at this position and at this company?
- How has this position evolved since it was first created?
- When and how is feedback given to employees?
- What is the top priority for the person in this role in the first 90 days?
- What challenges face the person filling this position?
- Do you offer continuing education or professional training?
- What hours are typically worked in a week for someone successful in this role?
- What can you tell me about your upcoming projects or plans for growth?
- What is the next step in the hiring process?
- When do you expect to make an offer for this position?
It can be very beneficial to gain insight on the company by asking the interviewer about what they do day-to-day and what they enjoy about the company. It also shows them that you have an active interest in that particular company and that you are not just looking for any old job.
In the end…
The question and answer aspect of an interview can be likened to bookends. If you don’t reciprocate by asking the interviewer questions, the books have a way of falling down.