Interviewee’s Questions – The Dealbreaker

“Seek and you will get, knock and it shall be opened to you”. This stands as the core to success in interviews. An interview is a platform for the interviewer and the interviewee to match their offering and requirements. This situation becomes stressful when the pressure to hire the right fit weighs on the interviewer and the quest to land the job becomes quintessential. The focus to create a result comes out of the meaningful discussion.  It is not guaranteed that every interview will result with a job offer. Yet every interview needs to be utilised as to gain understanding about the role and move a step ahead out of the status quo. There was a discussion on the same in CiteHR with realtime experience sharing Ask these 4 questions to get the job .

In addition to this, few more questions that will help the interviewee to understand the role, are suggested below:

  1. Information Flow: How does the information flow works for this role? This gives a better idea of the reporting structure beyond what is formally shared. It shares the prime points in the flow, the decision makers and the ones who need to be tagged.
  2. Daily Schedule: How would a day in this role be? Make suggestions with tasks and actions. This would help to understand the role more than the formal job description. There would be several tasks which may not directly be mentioned in the KRA, yet would reflect during the daily schedule discussion.
  3. Escalation Matrix: Discuss an escalation to be managed in the new role. This is a quintessential question. It shares the intricate problems to be dealt in the role and brings in an opportunity to the interviewee to suggest a solution. This suggestion will reflect the interviewee’s knowledge and maturity hence make them a lead candidate.
  4. Opportunity areas and challenges: Towards the end of the interview ask the interviewer about the opportunities and the challenges. Considering that the interviewer has a brief idea about the strengths and weakness of the interviewee, probe what would be the challenges that they see for that interviewee in this role.
  5. KPI: Probe on, how would the work be measured beyond the KPI? Ask for the feedback system and any another measuring system that would be used while delivering in that role.
  6. Expectations: Seek to map the expectations out of the interviewer while delivering in this role. The interviewer may require the person delivering in the role to go far beyond what is mentioned in the KRA and KPA. When the expectations are discussed, it would lead to discussing several areas not disclosed so far.
  7. Managing future efforts: Suggest how you would work up to the level and meet the expectations and ask for the interviewer’s recommendations to accentuate that effort.
  8. Simulation: Present a situation where the interviewee had made such an improvement with results. For e.g.: If the interviewer point that the verbal communication needs to be a strength which is not there in the interviewee currently. Share the courses on communication attended and planned. Refer the other reporting leader’s word of appreciation received. Discuss the efficiency in the learning curve and share the duration within which the gap would be bridged.
  9. Business model: Ask detailed question about the business model and the workflow within the organization. This would show the interviewee’s knowledge in the business and interest to land the job.
  10. Future Developments: Probe into the developments planned towards the future. This would help the interviewee align their goals to what would be implemented in the near future. For e.g.: If the interview is for an HR generalist role. The interviewer shares that the prime development to be made in next quarter is to automate or implement SAP for HR. Here the interviewee can align their goals and share how they have been associated with an organization which had SAP and required the HR to use it. Hence the interviewee is prepared to handle such a role and would further certify in this area to be better equipped for the implementation in the organization.

It helps the interviewer, if the interviewee guides the interview. Asking questions pertinent to the area would keep it focussed. The best way to probe during the interview is by sharing and suggesting information in the same area. It would establish the interviewee as knowledgeable. There are few interviews where the interviewee would be a lead candidate. The key remains in making an indelible mark so that the interviewer considers and establishes a base for a successful professional relationship with the organization. Each interview is a stepping stone towards a better career and new opportunities.  This process of gradual escalation needs to be administered with tenacity. As said by Dr. Abdul Kalam, Climbing to the top demands strength, whether it is to the top of Mount Everest or to the top of your career.

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