We’ve all been there. Throughout the whole interview you fielded questions like a pro – professionalism, intelligence, proper training. You’re the total package! Just as you get to the end, the interviewer asks the dreaded final question: “Do you have any questions for me?”. All of your calculated poise flies out the window and you’re a bumbling mess of “Um” and “Uh” as you try to fabricate a question that will not only show your interest in the company, but also prove your intellect.
Employers are asked all sorts of questions from interviewees; make sure you’re leaving the impression you want to leave. Jeff Haden, a ghost writer for Speaker, Inc., gives you 5 questions for employers sure to knock their socks off!
“What do you expect me to accomplish in the first 60 to 90 days?”
Great candidates want to hit the ground running. They don’t want to spend weeks or months “getting to know the organization.” They want to make a difference right away.
Plus they want to know how they’ll be evaluated – so they definitely want to understand objectives and expectations.
After this post was published, Roland Ruf emailed with a nice follow-up question. He said, “One of my favorite questions to potential employers is: ‘What are my KPI’s, what are my success criterion, and how will you measure my performance?’
“You wouldn’t believe how many companies haven’t thought about this and can’t provide an answer… and when that happens, I’m no longer interested in the position.”
“What are the one or two things that really drive results for the company?”
Employees are investments, and every employee should generate a positive return on his or her salary. (Otherwise why are they on the payroll?)
In every job some activities make a bigger difference than others. You want your HR staff to fill job openings… but what you really need is for HR to find the right candidates because that results in higher retention rates, lower training costs, and better overall productivity.
You want your service techs to perform effective repairs… but what you really need is for those techs to identify ways to solve problems and provide further benefits — in short, to generate additional sales.
Great candidates want to know what truly makes a difference for your company… because they know helping the company succeed means they will also succeed, on multiple levels.
“What are the common attributes of your top performers?”
Great candidates also want to be great long-term employees. Every organization is different, and so are the key qualities of top performers in those organizations.
Maybe your top performers work longer hours. Or maybe flexibility and creativity is more important than following rigid processes. Or maybe landing new customers in new markets is more important than building long-term customer relationships. Or maybe spending the same amount of time educating an entry-level customer is as important as helping an enthusiast who wants high-end solutions.
Whatever the answer may be, great candidates want to know because 1) they want to know if they fit, and 2) if they do, they definitely want to be a top performer.
“What do your employees like to do in their spare time?”
Happy employees 1) love the work they do, and 2) genuinely like the people they work with.
Granted this is a tough question to answer. Unless the company is really small, all any interviewer can do is speak in generalities.
Even so, great candidates want to make sure they have a reasonable chance of fitting in with the culture — because great job candidates almost always have options.
“How do you plan to deal with…?”
Every business faces a major challenge: technological changes, competitors entering the market, shifting economic trends… there’s rarely a moat protecting a small business.
So while a candidate may see your company as a stepping-stone, they still hope for growth and advancement… and if they do eventually leave, they want it to be on their terms and not because you were forced out of business.
Say I’m interviewing for a position at your bike shop. Another shop is opening less than a mile away. How do you plan to deal with the new competitor?
Or say you run a poultry farm (a major industry where I live): What will you do to deal with rising feed costs?
A great candidate doesn’t just want to know what you think; they want to know what you plan to do — and how they will fit into those plans.
To read more on this article or other posts from Mr. Haden, please visit the LinkedIn blog: http://se.linkedin.com/pulse/five-powerful-insightful-questions-you-should-ask-job-jeff-haden