Job interviews are laced with questions that give the interviewer the opportunity to get to know a) if a candidate will be an asset to the company and b) if a candidate will fit into the company culture. Use the interview as an opportunity for YOU ask questions that will not only answer these questions for yourself, but will show the interview team that you not only share the same concerns but that you are person who will ease pain and solve problems for them better than anyone else.
“Why do you want this position?” is a question asked when the company is looking for loyalty and dedication. This is where the research you did on the company before the interview will pay off. Make sure you have answered this question in your own head before you go to the interview or you will look as if this is just one of a number of positions you would take. They want to know
that this is the ONLY position you want because you feel a stake in the mission of the company and will be more likely to work as if the goals of the company were your own.
If asked why you are the best person for the job, think about all of the “values” you “showed” during the stories you shared of how you solved problems in past positions and match those with the mission of the company. “I am committed to working for XYZ Company because it has the same goals and vision that I do. XYZ Company is not only dedicated to its shareholders but also to its employees. Your products improve quality of life. I would be motivated to sell them because I believe they make a difference to the public. At ABC Company I increased sales 19% within my first year. I would be as dedicated to this mission of XYZ as I have been to everything else I have committed to.”
The following questions are ones that YOU should ask at an interview. They demonstrate that you understand the concept of company culture, the values of an organization and that you are not afraid to ask the tough questions – all critical to a company’s success.
- How long does the average employee stay with your company? (You hope that employees are staying with a company for at least three to five years. Depending on the field it can be longer. Healthcare tends to keep its workers longer. Those working for the government stay the longest. If the company has a high turnover rate, this may not be the place for you.)
- Could you describe the type of employee who fits well with the organization?
- How important does upper management consider the function of this department/position?
- In my research I have learned that your company values are …….. What is the company’s management style?
- Have key people left the company? Why? Where did they go?
- What is the biggest challenge your company has right now? (This will give you the company’s “pain” that you want to help solve. Offer ways that you can contribute to easing that pain. “So you need people that can work on their own without direction.”)
- What is the organization’s plan for the next five years?
- What are the company’s strengths and weaknesses compared to its competition?
- What’s the most important thing I can do to help within my first 90 days?
- Do you have any concerns that I need to clear up in order to be the top candidate? (This is where they will have the opportunity to state any concerns they may have about you such as not having been employed in a while. Never forget to ask this question! It shows you have grit.)
Mary Lee Gannon is a career advice expert who went from being a stay-at-home mother with four children to divorce, poverty and then on to become a newspaper reporter, trade association executivedirector, public relations consultant, and foundation president and CEO. View Mary Lee’s free career tips, worksheets and Blog on her website at http://www.startingovernow.com/. Sign up for her free e-newsletter by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Mary Lee on Twitter at StartingOverNow.
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