You know the drill. Interviewers ask you lots of questions which you answer diligently and to the best of your ability.
Then it reaches the point when you’re asked if you have any questions.
So often candidates ask very little or very basic questions.
Now if you’re going for a relatively junior role then that might be fine.
On the other hand if you’re a professional serious about their career this can really be an opportunity to stand out.
The quality of the questions you ask tells the interviewer a lot about you.
If you ask searching questions it changes the dynamic.
Rather than the interviewer thinking that they have the upper hand in the process you become an equal.
A fellow professional who does their due diligence and makes sure that an opportunity is the right one for them.
What the run of the mill candidate asks
The candidate going through the motions of asking questions because they know they have to are likely to focus on areas like:
Training and development
While these might be important they are hardly ground breaking.
What the better candidate asks
The more serious and better prepared candidates are likely to focus on areas like:
The key business priorities over the next couple of years
What the business wants to have a reputation for
How the successful candidate will really contribute to the success of the organisation and the function in which they will work
The good things about the business and the areas where the business could be even better
The qualities of the people in post at present
What it takes to thrive and prosper in the organisation
Not only will asking these type of questions help you to stand out but will really give you an insight into whether the role and company is right for you.
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.