This Might Be An Applicant’s Best Interview Tool
Over the years of doing interviews, some people would ask me what the best tool is to impress your interviewer. I always tend to throw back the question at them.
Oftentimes, these answers pop out:
- Coming to the interview in a neat business attire
- A good pitch about why they are the ideal candidate
- A firm handshake
- A good smile
- A good resume
While these are all important, personally, I am impressed by an applicant who gives me the right and sincere questions during and after an interview session.
Fine tuning your responses to common behavioral interview questions are a given and more often than not, I see them as mechanical rather than sincere.
Thus, it is best that you are also ready with the right questions to ask the interviewer. It can display your preparedness and interest in the position. Thus,if used correctly, coming up with the right questions can be an applicant’s best tool during an interview process.
Here are some tips that you might want to consider to create a positive interview:
- Research. Do your homework and know more about the organization. There’s no greater disappointment than a candidate answering “I don’t know” to a question of “What do you know about us?”
- Write down your questions in advance. We interviewers notice when applicants take the time and effort to research about the organization and come prepared with some thoughtful questions.
- Ask questions that can help you gain insight. Do not use these questions to show off that you know more about the interviewer. The questions should be geared towards what would help you to understand the company more thoroughly or know more about the actual role you are applying for.
- Phrase questions positively. There are questions that may be “risky” or controversial to ask but consider how to phrase questions to make it less negative. For example, if you would like to know more about how much you may be traveling, you don’t want to sound too much of a complainer about travel opportunities. Instead, you may want to phrase it like this, “May I know what the company’s perspective is towards work-life balance?”
- Limit your questions. While coming up with questions benefit you, do not overdo it. You are not the only applicant during that day and too many questions may appear like an intrusion and annoyance rather than helpful. I say, limit to a maximum of five (5) questions or less, depending on how much it can benefit your knowledge.
- Ask the interviewer some perspective. An applicant once surprised me by asking if I was happy with the company. I was glad that he told me later on that my answer pushed him to accept our job offer. In this regard, some answers are right in front of you. Interviewers have actual experience with the company. How they regard the company as an employee reflects so much about the company itself. Be very careful though on how you pose these questions in such a way that it would not appear intrusive. Always display an atmosphere of wanting some level of insight from them and that their answers will give you more detail to consider as you weigh the pros and cons of starting your career with the company.I have always viewed a resume as a story to be unfolded; an interview a two-way dialogue or a story being told. It should not be treated as a one-way discussion, dissecting the resume into parts. I say, make the interview a good opportunity to learn more about the role you are applying for and check if it would be an ideal fit for you. By taking time to develop thoughtful questions, you can drive the interview to an advantage where you stand out while you gain knowledge and insight about the organization and the role you are applying for.