20 great interview questions to impress the interviewer
An interview is actually about how you can help your future boss and future employer succeed. It’s about finding out what their requirements and hopes are and matching up your background and experience with what they need.
By asking the questions that follow, which focus on the needs, traits, and preferences of your future boss and future employer, you are demonstrating that you are somebody who is genuinely interested in their well-being.
And the more interest we show in others, the more commitment they show to aiding our cause.
1. What’s the biggest change your group has gone through in the last year? Does your group feel like the recession is over and things are getting better, or are things still pretty bleak?
2. If I get the job, how do I earn a “gold star” on my performance review? What are the key accomplishments you’d like to see in this role over the next year?
3. What’s your (or my future boss’) leadership style?
4. About which competitor are you most worried?
5. How does sales / operations / technology / marketing / finance work in this company? (I.e., groups other than the one you are interviewing for.)
6. What type of people is successful here? What type of people is not?
7. What is the one thing that’s key to this company’s success that somebody from outside the company wouldn’t know about?
8. How did you get your start in this industry? Why do you stay?
9. What are your group’s best and worst working relationships with other groups in the company?
10. What keeps you up at night? What is your biggest worry these days?
11. What is the timeline for making a decision on this position? When should I get back in touch with you?
12. These are tough economic times, and every position is precious when it comes to the budget. Why did you decide to hire somebody for this position instead of the many other roles / jobs you could have hired for? What about this position made you prioritize it over others?
13. What is your reward system? Is it a star system / team-oriented / equity-based / bonus-based / “attaboy!”-based? Why is that your reward system? What do you guys hope to get out of it, and what happens when you put it into practice? What are the positives and the negatives of your reward system? If you could change any one thing, what would it be?
14. What information is shared with the employees (revenues, costs, operating metrics)? Is this an open-book shop, or do you play it closer to the vest? How is information shared? How do I get access to the information I need to be successful in this job?
15. If we are going to have an extraordinarily successful 2022, what will that look like? What will we have done over the next 18 months to make it successful? How does this position help achieve those goals?
16. How does the company / my future boss do performance reviews? How do I make the most of the performance review process to ensure that I am doing the best I can for the company?
17. What is the rhythm to the work around here? Is there a time of year that it’s “all hands-on deck” and we’re pulling all-nighters, or is it pretty consistent throughout the year? How about during the week / month? Is it evenly spread throughout the week / month, or are there crunch days?
18. What type of industry / functional / skills-based experience and background are you looking for in the person who will fill this position? What would the “perfect” candidate look like? How do you assess my experience in comparison? What gaps do you see?
19. In my career, I have primarily enjoyed working with big / small / growing / independent / private / public / family-run companies. If that is the case, how successful will I be at your firm?
20. Who are the heroes at your company? What characteristics do the people who are most celebrated have in common with each other? Conversely, what are the characteristics that are common to the promising people you hired, but who then flamed out and failed or left? As I’m considering whether or not I’d be successful here, how should I think about the experiences of the heroes and of those that couldn’t cut it?
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