In addition to the questions that most good candidates ask (about the role, performance measure, etc.), you’ve also got to drop in one or two “wow”-inducing bombs to impress your interviewer and become a truly great, memorable candidate.
The “wow” questions are unique, well-researched and show your enthusiasm.
“The most impressive questions always center around the company and jobs rather than the details on what’s in it for you as the candidate,” says Carrie, hiring expert at AT&T Inc. via Jobipedia.org, an online platform that allows companies to answer candidates’ questions anonymously.
To help you impress your next interviewer, we scoured the web and asked employers about the best questions candidates have asked.
Use the following as a base, and tailor the question specifically to your (soon to be) company:
1. In the best of all possible worlds, what would you like me to accomplish for you? In three months? In a year? In five years?
It shows positivity, loyalty, eagerness and all that jazz.
One fantastic applicant went so far as to contact several employees who held the type of position she was applying for and even their managers. “So she was able to show her understanding of the specific issues these employees faced,” says Barry Maher of Barry Maher & Associates.
And the more specific you are in your question, the more impressive. Like this one:
2. I understand that this role will consist of XYZ, which happens to be my area of expertise. What would you say are the targeted deliverables that I will need to accomplish in my first 3 months?
This is a great question that Shaugn, hiring expert at Kellogg’s posted on Jobipedia as well. It emphasizes your understanding of the role and shows that you’re already planning ahead on your success.
Plus, if you get the job, you’ve already got your benchmarks squared away. Employers love this kind of spunk!
3. What can I learn here? Or Can I learn about XYZ here?
Again, the more specific to the company you’re applying to the better. But when you ask a question about your learning potential, it shows that you have “raw intelligence as intelligent people are those most interested in learning,” says Larry Klein, publisher of Wealthy Producer.
After you’ve established your expertise, dazzle them with specific areas that you’d like to learn even more about. Show them that you’re willing and eager to push boundaries and learn even more in your new position.
4. From what you know about me so far, how well do you think I will fit the company culture here? Why?
According to Jon Sterling, CEO of Interview Circuit, by asking this question, “candidates can show they understand the importance of having a great cultural match.”
Hopefully, the answer will be positive – and that’s something that will definitely stick in their heads. On the other hand, if they still aren’t sure, you can ask them to describe a great fit and talk about how your values align with theirs.
5. How does your organization define the role XYZ?
When Jeff Gordon, founder of Interactive 99, was on the hunt for media professionals who had very specific experience in direct response marketing, one applicant truly stood out.
During the screening portion, Gordon was talking to one candidate about the scope of the role. “Almost immediately he asked me what our definition of “direct response” was,” Gordon says. “This was so smart because the term is indeed broad and by asking how we as an organization defined it he can then (and did) begin to match his skillset to our definition.”
And … ask everyone a question
On your next interview, ask at least one question of each of the people you are interviewing with. Choose questions that align with the interviewer’s role. For instance, ask about big-picture things (like No. 1 and 4) to the highest level interviewer. And ask role-specific questions (No. 2, 3 and 5) to your would-be direct manager.
Good luck, CareerBliss community! We are rooting for you.