A few years ago, I considered a cross-country move to work for a renowned public relations firm. I had researched, followed, and immersed myself in everything they were about, to the point of imagining a new life working for them. After some hard work, I eventually landed a phone interview. While my answers to the interviewer were close to ideal, I made a critical mistake that cost me the job. What was it?
At the end of the phone call, I was asked if I had any questions. Already knowing so much about the company from my research, I thought it unnecessary to ask anything further. It was this lack of curiosity that I believe ultimately landed my resume on the cutting room floor.
From that day forward, I came prepared with questions — thought-provoking, intriguing questions that caused my interviewers to reflect on their company’s mission, metrics, and core values. Questions that created a pause in almost all my conversations, that was usually followed by an inevitable, “Wow, that’s a great question!”
Here are five questions you should never avoid in your next interview:
- At the end of the next three years (using three years as a measurement for success), what outcome would you like to see as a result of hiring me?
- What three significant obstacles will I face in accepting this new role?
- Where are the most significant future opportunities to be found in your company, as it relates to my new position?
- What are your company’s cultural values, and how are employees held accountable to them?
- How do you ensure that innovative ideas move from a lower-level employee to a decision-maker within your company?
The reason these questions work is because they deliberately forecast your future success, and that of the company, while determining whether their corporate culture is a high five or a hard pass. Here’s to your dream job in 2020!