TIPS FOR GETTING THROUGH YOUR NEXT INTERVIEW and

FEELING GOOD ABOUT IT ON THE OTHER END

 

PART III – ASKING QUESTIONS & GETTING INFORMATION

 

In addition to providing information during an interviewing, you also need to get good information about the job, the department, the company.  

Asking questions has a far more important impact than you might think.  It isn’t just about you getting information.   In asking questions, you are also making an impression.

Asking questions and the questions you ask convey your level of interest in the company and the job.  They can also communicate your understanding of the concept of  “deliverables” or “objectives”  for which you will be responsible.   Your questions will also convey your level of business acumen.  

 

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You’ve done your research about the company, what do you need to know about the company and the position?

  • Definitely the future prospects of the company, its challenges, growth opportunities for the business.
  • How are they investing in their future success?
  • What is employee turnover like – HR should have that number.   If it’s high, you’ll want to figure out why.   9 – 12% is the average turnover range, but there are industry standards and that number is obviously the more important one to know relatively to the company with which you are interviewing.
  •  Why is the position open?  If it’s a new position, you want to learn if their is clarity about the job’s responsibilities and objectives, the qualifications and experience required?   The questions below will help you learn the answers to these important questions.

Questions that are critical for you to ask

In asking these questions and receiving answers, be aware of opportunities to link your experience and skills with a stated need or challenge.

 From the hiring manager:*

  • What are the most significant challenges the person coming into this job will encounter?
  • What skills and characteristics are you most focused on in hiring for this position?
  • What will you expect the person coming into this job to accomplish in their first 6 months, first year?   OR
  • When evaluating the success of the person hired, what will be the three most important accomplishments considered or the accomplishment having the most weight?   At what intervals will they be formally evaluated, 6 months, 1 year?
  • Can you describe the Objective setting and Performance Management process?
  • How will the person hired be brought up to speed on what they need to know, who they need to know?  What is the *onboarding and training process going to look like etc.?

* Onboarding is not Orientation!  (See Post After You’ve Made That Great Hire

Some companies or departments have abysmal training and on-boarding programs.  Lack of such programs can threaten your ability to get up to speed quickly and can derail your ability to succeed and derive satisfaction from your job – it’s important to know how organized such activities are before you decide to accept the job and before you walk in the door so that, if necessary, you are prepared to find your own way on day 1.

  • What are the biggest challenges facing the department?
  • The Company?
  • How would you describe the culture here?

At the close of the interview

  • What will next steps be?
  • When do you expect to make a decision?
  • How will I be notified?

 

From other members of the hiring department:

  • What are the most significant challenges the person coming into this job will encounter?
  • What skills or characteristics will be most helpful to the person coming into this job?
  • How is training typically carried out?

 

From Interviewers outside of the hiring department:

(These are likely to be people who will work closely with the person hired)

  • What are the biggest challenges facing the _______ department?
  • The person coming into this job?
  • The Company?
  • How would you describe the culture here?
  • What types of interactions occur between the ________department and your department? OR How are the two departments dependent upon one-another?  OR go more specific …How does the holder of the job for which I am interviewing interact with your department?   (helps the candidate to get a picture of how things work at the company and develop questions to get more information about day to day operations)

It is valuable to see if people outside the hiring department & other members of the department, hold the same opinions and views as those within the hiring department and the hiring manager.

 

 

*AS YOU ASK QUESTIONS  DURING AN INTERVIEW &

DURING YOUR FIRST WEEKS IN A NEW JOB………

Please keep in mind the following facts related to why people fail in their jobs within the first 12 – 18 months:

  1. Failure to obtain a clear understanding of the job’s deliverables and the time frame for accomplishing these (both during the interview and the first weeks on the job).
  2. Failure to develop the relationships that facilitate learning, communications and cooperation with other employees and departments.
  3. Applying exactly the same actions and processes in your new job that helped you to be successful in your previous job without first understanding and evaluating the needs of your new company or department, understanding the company’s culture, the department’s objectives, and the outcomes expected of your performance.

Next Post on Interviewing:

PART IV

FINISHING UP & TWO IMPORTANT INSIGHTS

 

Previous Posts on Interviewing:

PART I, PREPARING FOR YOUR INTERVIEW

PART II, NOW ON TO THE INTERVIEW