Interview questions must go beyond the basics

The goal of an interview isn’t just to get the job as some people might believe. The goal of an interview is to obtain a sufficient understanding of the company, the job (i.e., is this a job I even want?), as well as to provide your potential employer with an understanding of your skills relative to their needs (i.e., is this a good fit for my skills?).

With that goal in mind, the questions you should ask become absolutely essential to achieving this goal. While everyone has their stock questions, it’s imperative to dig a bit deeper than “tell me about the job”. Also, it’s imperative to ask these questions on the interview as opposed to just prior to an offer (which can make you look uninterested or even indecisive).

Instead of just asking detailed questions about the job like what you’re responsibilities are (yes, you still need to ask that), ask questions that come from a different perspective and get the interviewer to think about this position differently than just a list of required skills and responsibilities.

Questions similar to the following are great entry points.
• What do see as the key attributes to success in this role?
• What would the first 6 months of this position look like?
• How long do you believe it would take to make a measurable impact?

Beyond having a clearer idea of what’s important to the interviewer, these questions will provide you a much different perspective and a much clearer picture of what this position really is and what it means to the organization.

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