Every day Baker Tilly Search & Staffing recruiters spend hours preparing candidates for interviews with hiring managers. As a candidate, the interview is an opportunity to sell yourself and a chance to ask well-developed, thoughtful questions about the organization where you are interviewing to learn about the role, culture, and manager expectations.
Following these four steps will help you develop well-thought-out questions to ask during the interview and demonstrate that you are engaged during the process.
Step 1: Research the company and hiring manager(s)
Conducting preliminary research on the organization and individuals you are interviewing with will help demonstrate that you are prepared and have genuine interest in the job. At a minimum, our recruiters recommend that you:
- Review the organization’s website to learn more about its operations and culture
- Review the organization’s LinkedIn page
- Review the organization’s LinkedIn department profiles
- Review the organization’s annual report
- Identify the skills required for the position
- Research tools or software used in the role
- Identify connections you have to the organization on LinkedIn and use those connections to seek additional information about the organization and position
- Ask the LinkedIn connections you identified to be your advocate within the organization
Step 2: Identify what is important to you as it relates to your next job
Consider what is important to you when looking for your next job. Specifically, you might consider the following attributes:
- Organization size
- Hiring manager’s style
- Organizational culture
- Career growth
Step 3: Formulate questions about the organization and attributes that are important to your next job
By having these questions formulated in advance, you can ask related questions during the interview process, not just at the end. This type of genuine engagement almost always differentiates you from other candidates by creating a true conversation instead of simply reacting to the hiring manager’s questions. This positions you as a better listener and, hopefully, a more likable candidate to the hiring manager and team. Consider asking the following for your next interview:
- “Are there any specific skill sets or knowledge your team is missing right now that you are looking for in a potential candidate?” This question should not only uncover details about the team and hiring manager, but also allows the opportunity to sell your skills.
- “Beyond the day-to-day responsibilities you described, are there any upcoming special projects or initiatives your organization has planned in the next 6-12 months that this position could get involved in?” This question will also help you learn about the future direction of the department and organization.
- “Outside of the technical capabilities the job requires, are there any specific traits related to leadership or soft skills that you are hoping this person brings to the table?” This helps you to get a better sense of the company’s culture as well as whether or not the team is in need of a certain personality type to bring them together, or someone to fit in with the group.
Step 4: Close out the interview well
These strategies will help you end the interview in memorable way:
- Make sure to start and end the interview on a positive note
- If you want the job, tell them what qualities and skillsets of yours coincide with the position’s requirements
- Set yourself apart from other candidates and explain why you are the perfect person for this role
- Other questions to ask:
- Is there anything about my background or experience that we didn’t address today that’s important to you?
- What are your expectations of me at 60 days? At 90 days?
- Do you have a training program for this position?
- What are the next steps?
Be confident and genuine during the interview
Remember, if you are being brought in for an on-site interview it is because they liked what you had to say during your phone interview and are interested in what you potentially have to offer to their company. With that being said, go in with confidence, be genuine, and, most importantly, let your personality shine!
For more information on this topic, or to learn how Baker Tilly search and staffing specialists can help, contact our team.