Most interviews have a rhythm to 'em — you say your hellos, the interviewer(s) ask you a bunch of questions, and then they turn it around for you to ask questions.
If you're like most of us, by the time it's time for you to ask them questions, you're too fried to end with a bang.
I'm totally with you — interviews can be exhausting. But it's so, so, so crucial to hold on strong til the end.
Why? If you don't ask any questions, or ask not-very-thoughtful questions, the interviewer will take that as your level of enthusiasm. You're also missing out on a key opportunity to get inside the interviewer's mind and position yourself as the perfect candidate.
I'm guessing you already knew asking questions at the end is a great way to learn about the company. But it doesn't stop there — with strategic questions, you can use these questions to erase any doubts the interviewer has about you as a candidate.
That's right — if you ask the right questions, you can turn your OK or good or unsure interview in to a great one.
I have 3 questions I recommend every candidate ask at the end of an interview. I suggest them because:
- They allow you to learn more about the role
- They allow you to learn what the interviewer thinks the ideal candidate is
- It gives you another chance to convince them you are the ideal candidate
These questions are:
- What's the biggest challenge you expect the person in this role to face?
- What advice do you have for the person in this role?
- What are you looking for in a partner in this role?
Let me give you an example of how this plays out:
You ask the interviewer(s,) “What are you looking for in a partner in this role?”
They answer something like this:
We're looking for someone incredibly collaborative. Someone who can jump in and get things done with little hand-holding. We move fast here, and we're looking for a partner who can move fast with us and communicate along the way.
Most people would say, “OK, good to know.” But not you. No, because you're going to use this as an opportunity to show them why you're exactly what they're looking for in a partner.
So instead of saying “cool” and moving to the next question, instead share how you're relevant to their answer, like this:
I'm glad you said that, because I love working collaboratively, and it's a value I'm looking for in my next company. I've worked with many startups, and I'm no stranger to fast-paced projects. I agree that the best way to move fast is through clear and consistent communication.
And then you move on to your next question.
By doing this, you turn your Q&A portion into another opportunity to sell yourself. And in this job market, that goes a long way.
But don't stop there. I have a killer question to end your interview.
Hold onto this until you get to the final panel interview. And then you end with this winner:
Is there anything else I can share that would make hiring me an easy decision?
They may have something, they may not.
If they have something, you just got a winning opportunity to erase any doubt they had in you as a candidate. If they don't, you just made them realize they don't have any doubts about you as a candidate.
Happy UX writing 🖖