I’m sure you know how important it is to have prepared some good interview questions to ask at the end of your interview. Because if you don’t have any, your interviewer will question if you have any real interest in the job.
I’ve written this article to give you some really good job interview questions to ask, and to also talk a little bit about why you’re asking them.
By understanding this you can start to develop a strategy when asking questions, giving you an advantage over other candidates who don’t quite know why they’re asking the questions they’ve found online or in a book.
As every successful communicator knows, there are 3 important uses for questions:
1. To Gather Information
This is self explanatory, and includes simple questions like: “What time is it?” or, “is anyone sitting there?”
Interview Questions to Ask: To Gather Information
“Who will I be reporting to?”
“Who will be reporting to me?”
“Is this a new position? If not, what is the previous employee doing now?”
“How much travel is required?”
“Will I be required to relocate?”
“What’s the company’s preferred style of management?”
“How would you describe the company’s work culture?”
“How would you describe a typical day / week in this position?”
“When will I hear from you next?”
Interview Questions to Avoid
“How much will I get paid?”
“How many vacation days will I get?”
“What does your company do?”
2. To Shape What People Think of Us
Ask a smart question, and people will think you’re smart. Ask a stupid question, and, as a great educator once said:
“There are no stupid questions, just stupid people” Mr Garrison, South Park.
Asking anything which has already been covered during the interview will put you firmly in this category.
Interview Questions to Ask: To Shape What They Think of You
“How is performance measured and reviewed?”
A solid classic, which communicates that you’re ambitious and focused on results.
“What opportunities for training do you offer?”
Another old faithful, which communicates that you’re keen to grow and add value.
“What opportunities are there for future promotion?”
They’ll see you as someone who is hungry for success, and in it for the long haul.
Interview Questions to Ask: Taking it to the Next Level
Do a little digging using Google News.
Find some Company News, and ask how it affects their employees / customers / future strategy.
e.g. “I understand you’ve undergone some restructuring in your Service Delivery arm. What affect will this have on customers?”
Find some Competitor News, and ask how it affects their strategy / business.
e.g. “I understand your competitor has launched a product rivalling your biggest seller. How will this affect your marketing strategy going forward?”
Find some Industry News, and ask how it affects their strategy / business.
e.g. “I understand new laws regarding production have passed. What affect will this have on production costs?”
These questions will cause your interviewer to see you as someone who’s really interested in the company, as someone who’s clever, well informed, strategically focused, and always evaluating things with an eye on the bigger picture.
A great way for them to think of you, don’t you think?
It’s so quick and easy to do, too. Google News searches the world’s news sources in an instant.
And the final and most powerful use for questions is…
3. To Set a Direction of Thought in the Listener’s Mind
The news media use this overwhelmingly to direct your attention to the views they want you to have.
“The Bill for Universal Healthcare has been passed. How long will it be before government Death Panels kill your Grandma?”
The Bill has massive implications. But by asking this question after breaking the news, you’re not given the chance to consider them. You’re left thinking about what you’ve been directed to think about.
The fact that it’s not true doesnt matter, because you’ve already started to form a negative opinion of the Bill.
“The Bill for Universal Healthcare has been passed. Are you one of the 32 million saved from dying at the hands of corporate greed?”
And here, you’ve been focused to one of the many benefits of the Bill. Which means your opinion of it will be much more positive.
Depending on which news network you’re watching, they’ll use questions to lead you to have the opinions they want you to have.
So how can you start wielding the true power that questions give you? Easy. Simply say whatever it is you want them to think about.
Imagine how much more success you’ll have using this interview technique.
Interview Questions to Ask: To Direct their Thought
In an interview though, it’s a little trickier than that. Obviously, you can’t just say to your interviewer:
“Imagine I’m ideal for the job. Picture me doing everything you really want done in the role.”
It’s way too obvious, and it won’t work.
The key is to be covert. To ask smaller questions throughout your entire interview – from the moment you meet your interviewer and walk to the interview room, all the way through to the second you leave.
You’re dropping a trail of breadcrumbs for your interviewer to follow, leading them to the conclusion that you’re not only a good candidate, but that you’re the right candidate. That you’re perfect for them. For more information on how to do this, click here.