Jobseekers: How You Ask Your Questions Matters
Whether you are actively looking for a new role or you were recruited as a “passive” candidate, the content of your questions in an interview as well as how you position your questions can determine if you receive an offer or not.
It’s especially easy as a passive candidate to think that the company is recruiting you, so why should you research and think strategically about questions? We strongly encourage you to work closely with the recruiter who approached you or someone else who is very experienced interviewing executives in your field.
During our firm’s national search assignments for experienced financial and other executives such as Chief Financial Officer, Controller, Human Resource Director and Division President, our clients often disqualify candidates based on questions asked (or not asked).
What does the “best” question really mean? It’s thoughtful. It demonstrates an understanding of the business and mostly importantly a key issue, risk or market awareness. The hiring company begins to see how you think about the position and how you would add value through your questions. You may even bring up a business issue or idea the company had not thought of. The company begins to see how you would complement their current team’s skills with your own.
Seems straight forward, right?
Questions Should Reflect Thorough Research
Having the best questions can only come from research and preparation and talking to others in like businesses or industries in-depth. It does not come from a 20 minute glance at the company website.
Don’t ask “What keep you up at night?” Yes, you want to understand directly from the company what the challenges are, but through your research, you should have several very good ideas of what keeps that company up at night.
Practice this format, “I understand that…I’ve read that……Your competitors are…”, then continue with the specific question. Demonstrate knowledge. Then ask the question.
We learned from the results of candidate interviews that the client wondered why the person asked a question about the many locations of the business units. The simple answer could have been found on the Internet. I knew that the candidate really had a more thoughtful underlying question. The candidate could have framed it or set it up differently.
Use Your Recruiter to Prepare Appropriate Questions
Go over your questions for the hiring manager with the recruiter just before the interview. Ask that recruiter to help you frame the question. Colosi Associates executive candidates tell us our preparing them prior to interviews sets us apart from other firms and then certainly sets them apart in the interview. We’re thrilled to help the A-Player candidate better communicate and sharpen up their interview game. To increase the possibility of landing a great career move.