How to ask amazing questions at an interview
I love interviewing people. It is fascinating finding out about people, their background and what really makes them tick. You can really unearth what someone is all about and if they would be a good fit for your team with some well-honed questions.
Sadly, that is not always the case when it goes the other way around. It is always disappointing when you ask “what questions have you got for us?” and you are met with a shrug or silence. Equally disappointing is the half-hearted question that the candidate feels they must ask because they feel they have to ask something.
It is not just me that feels disappointed with poor questions from a candidate. Several our clients have recently cited an inability for a candidate to ask good quality questions as a reason not to follow through to an offer. Here is our guide to nailing good quality questions at an interview:
Does it REALLY matter? – In short yes. Clients are seeing the ability to ask good quality questions as a very important skill, so you need to get comfortable with this. On a professional level it demonstrates to a hiring manager that I can ask questions, I can clarify, and I want to explore. Failing to ask good quality questions at an interview might indicate a lack of ability to probe and that if a key skill regardless of your job. Even worse, asking weak questions might suggest a lack of interest or a lack of preparation!
It’s not about you – I am going to split opinion here. I think asking a hiring manager “what is the opportunity for career progression” is a bit of a weak question. Why? Well, firstly it is hardly original. Most importantly it is a very selfish question (“what are YOU going to do for ME?”). Don’t get me wrong knowing about career progression is very important but think about how you might phrase it so it isn’t all about you.
Get them thinking – You know you have nailed a good interview question when the interviewer has to stop and scratch their head before answering. Use this as an opportunity to ask a probing question that gets the other person genuinely thinking. I always find a good “how” or “what” question is perfect for this. Combine this with making the question about the other person and you are on to a winner! For example, “what is the future strategy of the team and how do you feel the successful person in this role will help you achieve that goal?”
With Valentines day just around the corner make sure your interviewers fall in love with you! Put in the effort to make your interview pop for all the right reasons. What has been your experience of asking questions in an interviews? We would love to hear about it.
And don’t forget, the best jobs can be found at: https://thisisnoa.com/jobs/
Noa Recruitment specialise in helping software developers and technical talent find great careers in Milton Keynes, Cambridge and Northampton. At Noa Recruitment we love helping tech talent find great careers.