If you've ever struggled with what questions to ask in an interview, here are some that will get you noticed!
I've hired hundreds of people for my teams, and I've participated in over ONE THOUSAND interviews to do so. As a Hiring Manager, I always save time at the end of interviews to make sure the candidate has time to ask questions. I know interviews are a mutual discovery process, and I want the candidate to walk away with all the information they need to make an informed decision should they be selected for the role.
Usually the questions I receive from candidates are quite generic, such as "What do you like most about working here?" or "How would you describe the company culture?"
Every once in a while though, someone will surprise me with a really unique question that makes me think. Here are 5 interesting questions I've heard recently with a brief explanation of why I thought it was great.
1. What is the history of this position?
For the candidate, this question will help them understand what they are walking into. Is this a brand new role? The employee will need to be active in establishing the norms for that position. Did someone recently leave? The employee will probably need to take time to understand processes and context before jumping into action.
2. What will be the most challenging part of the role to learn?
The answer to this question will help the candidate understand where they might need to dedicate more time during their onboarding. It can also aid in lessening imposter syndrome if the candidate knows it will be challenging in advance. A great follow up question can center around training offered by the company to aid in advancement.
3. What does exceeding expectations look like in this role?
Performance management is different at every company, so it's always helpful to understand how the future boss is thinking about performance in this role. The hiring manager might have a hard time answering this question if the role is new to the company since they haven't gone through performance management for this position previously. An alternate version of the question could be, "When you make it to the performance review, what are you hoping to write about this person?"
4. How is the feedback process structured?
Learning & development is key for personal growth and it starts with feedback. This question can speak loudly to the hiring manager's leadership style and how they prefer to manage their team. It can also be a starting point to share how the candidate prefers to receive feedback.
5. How will you know you hired the right person for this role?
Job descriptions are designed to seek out "the perfect candidate," which doesn't usually exist. This question can help illuminate the critical and urgent skills the candidate should possess based on the needs of the business. It also gives the candidate an opportunity to reiterate the value they can bring to the business.
My best advice for interview questions is to root them in research. Generic questions will lead to generic answers. If you really want to understand the inner workings of the company and get to know the hiring manager, be tailored and specific with your questions.
Learn how to craft compelling questions that will make you stand out in The Ultimate Guide to Interview Prep.