Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Interviews are a two way street.
(part 2 of "So you think you're special?")
Interviews are a two way street. When I’m interviewing someone for a certain position, I always have my predetermined list of questions ready to go. I also have follow up questions prepared for when the interview takes unexpected turns. And I always leave the interview knowing what I need to know about the candidate to determine whether or not I will move forward with them.
If you want to stand out in the crowd, you need to BE PREPARED. I can’t tell you how many candidates I have interviewed who had very few or even no questions prepared to ask me. It’s honestly a shocking number! If you’re interviewing for a new job, you need to leave your interview knowing as much about me, my company and the position you are interviewing for as is humanly possible.
How do you prepare for this? Well, first and foremost you should do your due diligence and research my company. Find connections on LinkedIn who work here and reach out to them for insight. Do a Google search or check out www.glassdoor.com to see what our employees are saying about us. Get to know the company as much as you possibly can before ever accepting an interview invitation. Do some research on the industry. Look up which companies are competitors of the company you’re interviewing with and get to know the key players in the industry.
ASK QUESTIONS. If a candidate doesn’t ask me questions, I don’t consider them a strong candidate…PERIOD.
Here’s a quick list of my favorite questions candidates ask:
1. How would you (or my new boss) determine my success once I accept this role?
2. What is the career path for someone coming into this role?
3. If you were me, what would you do to prepare yourself for success knowing what you know about this position, this team, my new boss, etc..?
4. How do I rank compared to other candidates you’ve interviewed?
5. Is there anything about my background that concerns you or that you need more clarification on to make your decision?
These are just a few. But if you ask smart questions, you’ll get good answers. So many candidates ask “What’s the next step?” type of questions. But most never ask the tough questions like “Is there anything about my background that concerns you?” or “How do I compare to the others you’re interviewing?”.
I think it’s human nature. Perhaps you’re scared to hear the answers, perhaps you’re not confident enough to ask the tough questions. My advice to you is GET OVER IT! Make it a point to ask solid questions so you will truly know everything you can know about the job. You’ll come across sounding smarter than the average guy, and you’ll most likely get invited to the next round of interviews….or perhaps even get yourself the offer!
Until next time, best of luck in your interviews. Be bold and ask the tough questions. Remember, YOU’RE INTERVIEWING THEM as much as they’re interviewing you. Make them sell you on the opportunity! You’ll be glad you did.