Interview Tips

How to Stand Out During the Interview

Basic Questions

These questions are good to ask during the pre-screening phone interview or in the early stages of the interviewing process. Gathering the answers early will allow you to ask better follow-up questions later on. They will also provide you with a clearer idea of the skills you will want to emphasize.

  • What do you see ahead for your company in the next five years?
  • What do you consider to be your company’s most important assets?
  • How do you rate your competition?
  • Could you describe a typical day or week in this position? Or Could you describe the typical client or customer I would be dealing with?
  • What are the most important elements of this job?
  • Why is this position available?
  • What did the last person in this position go onto do — and what were they like?How is job performance evaluated, and how often does it occur?
  • What are the three main factors you will be using to determine the right person for this job?
  • What was it about my qualifications that most appealed to you?

Job-Related Questions

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  • What goals do you expect the person who takes this job to achieve during their first 30, 60, and 90 days?
  • Could you tell me about the way the job has been performed in the past? And, what improvements you’d like to see happen?
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  • What types of skills do you NOT already have on-board that you’re looking to fill with a new hire?
  • If I was starting in this position today, what would you advise me to learn first and do first?

Cultural Fit Questions

Finding the right cultural fit is important to you AND the employer. There are many elements to cultural fit: management style, processes and procedures, ethics/values, communication styles, levels of trust and empowerment are just a few. Listen carefully and without bias as you ask these questions. Whenever possible, ask relevant follow-up questions to gain further insight or clarification.

  • What do you like best about working here?
  • What type of work do you delegate to your staff?
  • The company may have a formal recognition program; however, what type of recognition have you recently given to one of your staff?
  • Has anyone on your staff been promoted over the last couple of years? If so, what was the reason why this person was promoted?
  • What would be the three things that your peers would say you do extremely well?
  • What opportunities do you make available for professional development and training?
  • What do employees do in their spare time?
  • Does the company welcome celebrating special occasions? What was the last occasion your department celebrated?

Trial Close

Sometimes it is a good idea to see if you’ve left the interviewer with questions or issues unaddressed. A “trial close” can be a way for you to see what the interviewer is feeling.

  • Are there any reservations you have about my fit for the position that I could try to address?
  • This job sounds like something I’d really like to do — is there a fit here?
  • Now that we’ve talked about my qualifications and the job, do you have any concerns about my being successful in this position?

Final Questions

There are no exceptions. You MUST know the answers to these questions. It allows you to plan how and when you follow-up.

  • What is the next step in this process?
  • What is your time line for getting back to candidates about the next steps?

Exuding confidence and interest in the job are two of the most important assets you can possess! Go get the next interview!