Knowing how to answer questions is critical to making a good impression at a job interview. But just as important as knowing all the right answers is knowing the right questions to ask.
The last question your interviewer will ask is, ”Do you have any questions?” This is, in fact, still part of the interview. The getting-to-know-you process continues with the questions you ask. To make a lasting impression on your interviewer, you have to ask good, intelligent questions.
What are the challenges that this job entails?
This is the sort of question a manager likes to hear. It means you care enough about the job to want to know what it takes to do well at it. You want to know the fine details that were not included in the job ad. If it’s a project management job, ask about the nature of the projects that will be assigned to the new hire. If it’s an events management job, ask about the clients and what type of events they typically hold. As the conversation develops after you ask this question, you can follow up with additional questions about how you can meet the objectives of the job. This will open up opportunities for you to sell yourself as the right person for the position.
What are the main problems that have to be addressed?
When there’s a position that has to be filled, chances are, there are problems that have to be solved. Ask about these problems and you’re very likely to get an honest answer. As a rule, managers want applicants to know what needs to be fixed. Advertisements for IT jobs in Singapore, for example, are usually for specialists who can put systems in place to streamline companies’ operations. When you find out the particular problems the company is facing, you can offer a solution on the spot, an excellent way to make a good first impression.
What would spell the difference between a good performance and an outstanding one?
When you ask this question, you indicate a desire to find out what qualities the job entails beyond the qualifications outlined in your resume. You want the interviewer to see that you’re interested in knowing what you need to do to go beyond expectations. Any manager would be impressed by a candidate who wants to deliver more than just the basic requirements of the job. He sees in such candidates a passion for excellence that every company looks for.
How did you come to be part of this company, and what has made you stay?
This question serves a twofold purpose: it gives you firsthand information on what’s good about the company, and it establishes a rapport between you and your interviewer. The conversation that follows this question can be a real eye-opener. It’s likely that the interviewer will tell you a lot about the company’s culture, and how this has helped him grow professionally. These are things every manager likes to talk about. And your genuine interest in the thoughts he shares will definitely go a long way towards getting you the job.
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