Handling & Asking Great Interview Questions

It goes without saying that how well you answer questions during a job interview will determine if you will be seriously considered as a viable candidate or eliminated from the competition. Having done extensive research on the company, hiring manager, and the industry, you should be well prepared. I always urge my career coaching clients to write out questions and if necessary, refer to them during the interview. This of course means bringing a professional portfolio with a pad of paper and pen in it. I was frankly shocked when I would be conducting an interview and the applicant didn’t bring pen or paper or a tablet to take notes. I wondered, do they have a photographic memory?

One caution is to keep your answers concise and to the point. While you might be nervous, which is normal, avoid rambling on. Also, be sure to address the specific question you have been asked. If you are not entirely sure what is really being asked, seek clarification “If I understand you correctly Ms. Douglas, you are asking about my project management approach while I was at Acme Manufacturing?” This is especially true when you’re asked to give an example of a time when you did something such as handle an irate customer or solve a thorny problem or a missing a project deadline.

Lastly, you will be judged by the quality of your questions as well as your answers. Never say “I don’t have any questions”. You may have done well up to that point answering questions and selling your capabilities and your fit for that position, but not having a single question will usually drop your rating as a candidate if not disqualify you. Having done research, you should have some insightful questions; these can come from recent articles about the company or from its own press releases. This is also a great opportunity to learn more about the position and culture of that company. I always advise my clients to ask, “What are the three ‘must haves’ for this position?” Then it’s much easier to position yourself by sharing, with anecdotes and examples, how you meet those criteria. Another question might be, “How would you describe the corporate culture here?” and “What do you like most about working for Dynamic Industries?”

Frank Manfre www.frankmanfre.com/career-coaching

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Frank Manfre

Frank Manfre

Business consultant & coach w/ 35 years experience in leadership roles in for profit and nonprofit organizations focused on developing leaders & org health