Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Questions Answer More Than Answers

I have a few questions that I love to ask in interviews. Most of them I don't care about the answers--I just care about the way the candidate answers the questions. But there is one question where I really am interested in the actual answer: "what questions do you have for me?" It may seem like a silly question to put so much emphasis on but the OnlineSpin blog from MediaPost agrees that can help separate a candidate--so they ask that question at the beginning of the interview:
In most cases, the response to that first question indicates within seconds how relevant, prepared and interested a candidate is. The questions a candidate pose signal to me whether I should expand the discussion or wind it down....I find that the questions a candidate asks -- and doesn’t ask --are often far more revealing than responses to questions I ask. A candidate’s questions are one of the best indicators of intelligence, reasoning and curiosity -- and the ability to frame and advance a problem with others.
As a young job candidate, I didn't take that question seriously--I thought it was just a filler at the end to ask questions about next steps and such. But then, as I started to interview others, I realized it was a great way to show how much the candidate really cared about the job--did they just Google the company beforehand or did they really work to get a full understanding of the company? Did they just have a precanned question for me or was the questions specific to the interview and, more importantly, the job and company? The ones who answered with the best question always got a leg up on the competition

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