Candidates are used to being asked questions and a savvy job seeker will be ready for anything. Behavioral interviews are taking hold with companies of all sizes, shapes and, industries. Candidates must prepare ahead of time to make their best impression on the interviewer. Usually there is an opportunity to turn the tables so to speak and ask something of the employer during the interview. Many candidates do not seize the opportunity to ask a good question to their interviewer. Opportunity lost.
Why is it a smart move to have something ready? It gives you an opportunity to communicate on a different level. When the candidate does not ask a question, the interview is very one sided. But what if you had something prepared that connected you to the interviewer. Why not ask, “What do you like about the company?” or “What attracted you to the company?” or “What are you most proud of since you have been working here?” Boom! For the minute or so you are listening to your interviewer answer you, you are in the driver’s seat. You have just broken the ice in a new relationship. Not only do you gain a valuable and unique insight into the company and its culture, the interviewer now has a lasting impression of you. All because you were ready! What is the old saying? “Strike when the iron is hot.”
Next interview have a good question or two tucked away and ready. When you get your chance, take it. Don’t hesitate. Some questions just don’t work. Don’t ask about earnings per share or return on invested capital or EBITA trends over the last six quarters. These questions will surprise the interviewer rather than impress them and motivate them to talk. And besides, unless you are the next CFO, knowing the ins and outs of EBITA probably won’t be a huge part of your work day. Get in there with something about company culture, how is the customer experience measured, or something familiar but not too personal. Keep it professional.
Savvy job seekers are better prepared than ever. It is hard to predict what a company will do with you as a candidate. Further, you may never really know why they are even interviewing. There could be thousands of workable answers to that question.
Next time, be ready. A well thought out question will reflect in a positive way for the candidate. One more thing, you are probably carrying an iPhone or Android right? Don’t forget to turn it OFF before going into the interview!
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