Liz Wessel knows a thing or two about the job interview process.
Not only does she work with college students applying for jobs every day — but she also regularly interviews job candidates applying for roles at her own company, WayUp.
After working at Google for two years, the now 26-year-old University of Pennsylvania graduate left to cofound WayUp, a site used by hundreds of thousands of college students to find jobs at places like Microsoft, Uber, The New York Times, Disney, and Google. She’s currently the company’s CEO.
Wessel says the one question she thinks every job candidate should ask their interviewer is: “If you think about the people who stick out as all-stars at your company, what makes them all-stars?”
“This question is great for so many reasons,” Wessel tells Business Insider. “It’s impressive because it shows your potential employer that you’re already eager to find out how you can provide the most value to their organisation.
“It’s important for you because it’s a quick way to find out what a company is really all about and whether you think you could be an all-star at the company.”
Another great thing about this question, she says, “is that the answer may reveal traits and characteristics that you can play up later in conversation or in your second interview.”
She says at WayUp, the all-stars are people who go “above and beyond for our users and our clients, and who think outside of the box as often as possible.”
“I think all employees who last at WayUp are good people and genuinely embody our company values, so when candidates ask me this question about all-stars, I usually go directly to the quality that sticks out, rather than talk about our values.”
She says her other favourite questions to hear from candidates are, “What keeps you up at night?” or “Where do you think the company needs improvement?”
“These questions are awesome because they show that you already care about what challenges the company is facing and how to overcome them,” she says. “It also helps you have a better understanding of what you’re in for — both the good and the bad — if you get hired.”
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