The Interview IQ: Great Questions for Candidates to Ask

Screen-Shot-2012-03-18-at-8.13.38-PMOver the years I have interviewed thousands of candidates. Some have been highly impressive, some good but the majority of candidates were mediocre. There is plenty of advice out there on how you should dress, behave and prepare for these job interviews. But, looking back I found that the majority of candidates that I hired made an impact not because of the questions they answered but because of the questions they asked.

Candidates asking great questions stand out because they have not only properly prepared themselves, they have gone beyond that and have immersed themselves in the company and the job that is at stake. It shows not only a different level of interest but also a different level of intellect to get the job.

So here are some questions that you might ask:

  • What are the outstanding achievements expected from me 12 months from now?
  • What are characteristics of employees that have been successful in working with you?
  • What are you looking for to determine whether a person has potential to grow in this company?
  • In addition to the company values, what other characteristics do you value in your employees?
  • What have been the reasons the company has been successful in the past?
  • What is the reason this company exists, what contribution does it make to the larger community?
  • How would you describe the leadership style of the CEO and his / her direct reports?
  • What makes a person successful in this organization?

In addition to asking questions you might impress the interviewer by sharing how your recruitment would add value to the organization. You could do this by:

  • Sharing a number of ideas on how you would grow the market / launch an innovation / improve a process / develop people
  • Share insights on how ways of working from other industries might be applied in this company
  • Highlight a number of best practices that you have picked up that might work for the organization you are applying
  • Compliment the interviewer by sharing positive feedback you have heard about the organization from others

An interview is all about convincing the interviewer that you have the required skills and competencies, that you are the right cultural fit and above all how you could add value to this organization so that paying your salary is an investment on which an organization gets a greater return.

Go on – blow them away and land that amazing job you are gunning for!

– Paul Keijzer

You may also like:
The New Interview In Town
The Business X Factor


6 thoughts on “The Interview IQ: Great Questions for Candidates to Ask

  1. Pingback: How NOT to Blow A Job Interview! ← Quirky town.

  2. Questions asked by candidates after the interview can help us in making final decision and definitely its reflects the candidate interest in new role. Well, its worth reading.

  3. Pingback: The Job on CBS | Notes from a Southern Kitchen…

  4. Paul, I totally agree with you and the questions you have identified. When candidates come with well prepared questions, you can be sure they are showing their planning skills and know specifically what they want in a working relationship too.

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