Job interviews can be stressful.
Asking insightful interview questions will help you stand out from other candidates (a nice way to put your competition!). Insightful questions demonstrate that you have critically evaluated the fit between the role and your own capabilities and characteristics. Consider this example:
“Fast-forward a year, and imagine that you’re looking back on this hiring decision. The two people you hired have exceeded your highest expectations. What did they do that impressed you most?” – Adam Grant, professor at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, author of ‘Give and Take’
Grant goes on to explain, “The question stood out for four reasons. First, it demonstrated that the candidate had extremely high standards and was motivated not only to succeed, but to contribute above and beyond the call of duty. Second, it showed that the candidate was thinking about my perspective instead of just her own. Third, it challenged me to think about what I value most in employees. Finally, on a related note, it encouraged me to extend beyond the usual discussion of desirable traits and highlight the specific behaviors that mattered most to me.”
However, these interview questions are designed to help you find the best fit. Is the company culture right for you? Will you be setup for success as a new hire? Do your skills and abilities match the needs of the organization? The accompanying benefit is that these interview questions will make you look good, too! After all, interviews are not just about showing off. There are three things you want to achieve:
- – Make sure the interviewer has no reservations about you.
- – Demonstrate your interest in the employer.
- – Find out if you feel the employer is the right fit for you.
Unique Interview Questions To Ask
How will I know if I am successful in my role? Highlights the commuication stlyle of leadership.
Do you regularly plan company outings or team building activities? For the entire company? By department? – Provides insight on company culture.
How will a new-hire in this role make an impact on the team? The company? – Helps outline expectations AND if there are opportunities for growth.
What do employees generally find motivating about working here? – Are they the same things you find motivating?
How often do formal meetings occur? How long do they last? – Does it sound like the meetings are about communication or micromanagement? Is this a level of insight you’re comfortable working with?
What should I expect during my first month on the job? What about the first 3-6 months on the job? – Provides a basic level of understanding around expectations for the role.
Has anyone who has held this position in the past done a particularly remarkable job? What made them stand out? – Helps you determine what is considered “above and beyond”.
How does the organization handle failure? Can you tell me about a time someone on your team failed and how you handled the situation? – If innovation is important to you, negative consequences due to failure are not a good sign.
As a manager (CEO, HR Director, etc…) what worries you about this role (or the company) and keeps you awake at night? – Provides insight on challenges within the organization.