It’s not about what you tell the interviewer. It’s about what you ask them.
In order to prove that you’ll be an asset to the company, you need to ask the right questions, says Andrew Sobel, a strategy advisor.
Without these questions, you’re “missing a key part of your preparation — the part that may win you the job.”
“You can tell people all day long how qualified you are, how talented you are, and what a tremendous asset to the company you would be. But no statement is ever as impactful as a well-timed, well-executed question. In all situations, power questions help us connect and engage with others in meaningful ways.”
, Sobel recommends these 10 types of questions:
1. Credibility-building questions. “As I think back to my experience in managing large sales forces, I’ve found there are typically three barriers to breakthrough sales performance: coordination of the sales function with marketing and manufacturing, customer selection, and product quality. In your case, do you think any of these factors are holding back your sales growth? What do you believe are your own greatest opportunities for increasing sales effectiveness?”
2. “Why?” questions. “Why did you close down your parts business rather than try to find a buyer for it?” or “Why did you decide to move from a functional to a product-based organisation structure?”
3. Personal understanding questions. “I understand you joined the organisation five years ago. With all the growth you’ve had, how do you find the experience of working here now compared to when you started?”
4. Passion questions. “What do you love most about working here?”
5. Value-added advice questions. “Have you considered creating an online platform for your top account executives, so that they can share success stories and collaborate better around key client opportunities? We implemented such a concept a year ago, and it’s been very successful.”
6. Future-oriented questions. “You’ve achieved large increases in productivity over the last three years. Where do you believe future operational improvements will come from?”
7. Aspiration questions. “As you look ahead to the next couple of years, what are the potential growth areas that people are most excited about in the company?”
8. Organizational culture questions. “What are the most common reasons why new hires don’t work out here?” or “What kinds of people really thrive in your organisation?”
9. Decision-making questions. “If you were to arrive at two final candidates with equal experience and skills, how would you choose one over the other?”
10. Company strengths-and-weaknesses questions. “Why do people come to work for you rather than a competitor? And why do you think they stay?”
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