Winning a highly desired and lucrative opportunity is equal parts rapport building with the hiring manager and understanding nuances of the role not found in the job description. The questions you ask are everything and are the gateway to whether it’s an interview or a dialogue. You will greatly prefer the latter. To help you impress the hiring manager and land the job, we’ll share three tips on how to prepare your questions for your next interview.
Show Your Interest
American writer Dale Carnegie said, “To be interesting, be interested.” Carnegie spun this golden phrase so many years ago, but it holds up now more than ever. As it relates to interviewing, prepare yourself by researching the company you’re interested in. Ask questions based on what you learn and want to know more about. Do not be afraid to ask the hiring manager personal questions such as, “What keeps you here?” or “What are you most proud of in being a part of this company?” The answers will be windows into what the manager truly values and will tell you a lot about what you can expect without asking the truly static question, “Tell me about your company culture.”
The flip side of coming into an interview with this mindset is that if you are not asked similar questions by the manager, it can be deduced that person does not care as much about you as they do about the work you will do. For some, there is no worry in this. Perhaps you will be in a heads-down role that truly is all output based. But if you value the relationship you will have with your next supervisor, you should expect them to be interested in you as a person in the interview process.
Be Curious About Both Short-term & Long-term Outcomes
Perhaps the very best question you can ask any hiring manager is, “How can I come in and immediately take pressure off you and the rest of the team?” Most job openings exist because a problem needs to be solved. The best way for you to know if you want the role is to know what that unique problem is, and if you can help solve it. It also gives you the opportunity to tout specific accomplishments in your background that relate to the particular problem this company has.
Don’t forget to also get a window into the future as well. You really need to know how your role will evolve. Ask the hiring manager, “What big projects are slated for the next year that my role would play a big part in?” or “What big changes are coming to the organization or industry?” Lastly, ask some form of, “What will success look like in my role?” All of this will help you better understand the KPI’s your manager will focus on for you.
Never Wonder Aloud, “What’s in It for Me?”
It’s only human to want to know what the pay, benefits, and flexibility are while interviewing. For some, these may be the only factors that matter. That said, the interview is not the time to ask these questions. Wait for the question to come your way first, or after the offer is made. No matter what, never ask these questions ahead of any other that pertain to the role itself.
At the end of the day, for you to have a great interview, you must do your homework on a company and hiring manager. Your interest is shown not by reciting things you have learned or know, but by asking questions about what it all means. This will be the platform through which you will undoubtedly stand out to the interviewer, and also better understand if it is the right move for you to make.
Nate Elgert, CPC
Nate joined Aureus Group in 2006 and has exclusively been serving Nebraska customers all across the state. In his role as Sales Manager, Nate leads an elite team of recruiters and account managers who source accounting and finance talent within all industries. This talent ranges from technical individual contributors to executive finance leadership.
Nate has earned the prestigious “President’s Club” award three times, which puts him in upper echelon status among not only his Aureus Group peers, but also in the staffing and recruitment industry. He attributes his success to a transparent style of communication and a sincere belief in pairing the best interests of his clients with that of his candidates on every occasion.
Prior to his time at Aureus Group, Nate carved out his skills in the banking, advertising, and retail industries. These growth experiences led Nate from Kansas City to Des Moines to Phoenix and then back to his original home in Nebraska. Nate holds a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from The University of Missouri at Kansas City and is a Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC) through the National Association of Personnel Services (NAPS).