Finding a new job is definitely a process. You craft a great resume, you optimize your LinkedIn profile, you scour the web for positions, and you network with the right people. Finally, after all that work, you start to land interviews. But that’s doesn’t mean the hard work is over. You still have to answer—and ask—questions in a way that showcases the value you can provide. But what about the job interview question you’re too afraid to ask, the one that will help you get the job?
Interviews Are Give and Take
Gone are the days when you were told to take control of the job interview. These days, job interviews are more of a conversation. They ask questions; you ask questions; you get to know each other. The goal is not only to let them know that you’re able to do the job. You also want to ensure that you’re a fit for each other.
Throughout the interview, as they’re asking you questions, you want to have some good queries you can volley back to them. Great questions show that you’re thoughtful, listening, and engaged. But wait your turn. You don’t want to talk over the interviewers, and you certainly don’t want to be thinking of a question while they’re talking. Remember, it’s a conversation.
Some Great Questions to Ask
There are a number of questions to consider as you move through the interview. And no, none of them involve salary or benefits. Instead, look to gain information that will help you make a good decision as to whether this role and company are for you. Some questions to ask include:
- Why is this position vacant?
- What is the onboarding process like?
- What is your managerial style?
- Can you tell me a little about the corporate culture?
One job interview question can lead to another and flow throughout the conversation. Of course, if you’re offered the opportunity to ask questions in a pointed way, you can discuss these ideas then as well.
The Job Interview Question You Didn’t Know You Should Ask
There’s usually a process to the job interview. You’re greeted, you share your resume, you meet the team, you banter questions back and forth. And then, toward the wrap-up at the end, you ask a few more questions, share your references, and thank the interviewers for having you.
But are you missing what might be the most important job interview question of all?
Admittedly, it takes some hutzpah or cojones to ask this question. But it’s a good one:f
“Is there anything I’ve shared with you today that would make you feel I would not be a good candidate for this role?”
Whoa, right? This is the job interview question that will separate you from the competition.
Why This Job Interview Question Is So Important
Some job seekers—the not-so-savvy ones—are prone to ask, “Can you tell me how I compare with the other people you’ve met?”
The answer to that is no. All day long. Companies can get sued for even considering this question. Don’t bother.
But the other one? You’re not asking them how you compare to other people; you’re asking them how you compare to yourself.
What you’re really doing, though, is setting them up to answer objections. This is an age-old sales tactic. And after all, you are on a sales call. Instead of selling a widget, though, you’re selling yourself. And they could have objections. If they do, it’s your job to overcome them.
Your Goal with This Simple Job Interview Question
It’s pretty simple, really: You are asking this job interview question because you want to get the job. When they state objections, you have two responses:
- “I have [that thing they don’t feel you have]. Let me tell you a little bit more about my experience in that area.”
- “You’re right; I don’t have [that thing they don’t feel you have]. What can I do to provide more value for you?”
No job interviewer in their right mind will tell you you’re too old, young, fat, skinny, white, black, male, or female. But they might tell you that you lack some experience that they’re looking for. And when they do, you’ll be ready.
A Word of Caution
Some interviewers will be taken aback when you ask this all-important question during the interview process. They won’t know how to answer it. They may not even have an answer. And they might have some nonsense answer that tells you nothing. That’s okay.
If you continue to go on interviews and don’t get job offers, look to the theme in what you’re hearing when you ask this question. You might find a grain of truth that will help you tweak your interviewing process so you’ll find more success.
Preparing you for success in the interview is just part of the process and support our clients enjoy. If you want to up your interviewing game, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.