March 20, 2012

Questions for the Interviewer

9 times out of 10 (I am totally making up that statistic to emphasize how often it happens) I get to the end of an interview and ask the candidate:  "So, do you have any questions for me?" and I'm met with crickets.

A long and drawn out "UMMMMMMMMM....no."

Always always always come prepared with questions for the people you meet.  

Here are a few easy ones:

  • How long have you been with the organization?
  • Why did you join the organization?
  • Tell me about the company's core values.
  • What do you think the organization's greatest challenges will be over the next several years?
  • What impact do you envision this role having on the organization?

The point is to show yourself as a prepared and engaged candidate.

  • Do a little research ahead of time.  If you can get your hands on a list of people you'll meet with, check them out on LinkedIn.  
  • Look at the company's website.  
  • Read their latest press releases - what's new and exciting?
  • Listen to the interviewer (I can tell when you are not listening).
  • Think of it as more of a conversation and less question/answer.  

Final note:  I don't like to talk about comp/benefits right off the bat.  First interviews exist not only for the purpose of determining whether you are a fit for the role/company, but also whether the role/company are a fit for you.  I am suspicious when someone gives me their salary requirements before they've even heard all of the job requirements.

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