Some of the biggest feedback we receive from clients is that candidates don’t ask “good questions” during the interview process. So as a result, one question we constantly get from candidates is, “What is a good question to ask?” Here are a few topics to be sure to hit, and the best way to go about them in an interview setting.
1) Career Growth
“What do career growth opportunities look like?"
Every single recent college grad asks this and wants to know about it. The fact of the matter is, this is not a good way to phrase the question because you are asking for something when you have not yet given anything.
INSTEAD, this should be a progression of questions: "What are my goals?", "How long do I have to begin hitting those goals?", and finally ‘"F I hit those goals, how long do I have to continue hitting them before I will be promoted?"
See the difference? You are not only telling the interviewer that you are planning on hitting all of your goals, but through these questions, you will understand exactly what the career growth is for the sales role. They will also be more likely to be forthcoming because you have phrased it as a give and take. If I do this for you, what will you do for me?”
2) Company Culture
“What is the culture like here?"
Everyone asks this question. if you want to stand out in an interview, don’t act and sound like everyone else! This is also a tough question to actually answer because it doesn’t allow for any in-depth response. We could probably all guess what the answer to this question would be from every single tech company in the US: Work hard, play hard, fun, open, diverse, etc. This doesn’t really give you TRUE insight.
A better way to phrase this might be something along the lines of "Could you give me an example of someone who is successful here?", or "What is a blueprint for success here in my first 30 days?", "What types of people don’t work well here?", or "What advice would you give someone new starting here?"
With these types of questions, they are able tell you exactly what you will need to do to be successful at the company. Depending on the answer, you will understand the culture. For example, if they tell you success means 300 cold calls a day, you will know this is a very ‘boiler room’ type environment.
3) Close the meeting
ALWAYS CLOSE OUT THE CALL/MEETING. You can do this by asking for business cards or by asking questions like, "Is there any reason you wouldn’t hire me?", "What would the next step be? I am interested.", or, "When should I expect to hear back on your decision?" These questions confirm your interest in the position and show that you are taking initiative in the interview process.
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