Make a list of ten written questions to take to the interview. When you move to the next interview, make a list of ten new questions. You may not get a chance to ask all your questions, but you never want to run out of questions. Here are some that can give you more insight into the position:
- What are the duties and responsibilities of the position? This is an excellent icebreaker question for the hiring authority and a great start to a successful interview.
- What is my number one priority during the first 90 days?
- What are the production or sales goals? What obstacles would prevent me from reaching my goals?
- What does management consider to be successful in this role? What performance criteria or performance measurement will be used? (This will be important for you to understand.)
- What are the short and long term goals set for the person in this position?
If compensation is brought up, “What are you looking to make?”
- Let the hiring manager know what you make, but not what you would take. Be open and flexible. Any number you provide could be too low, or be perceived as too high. It’s best to remain open on the topic until both sides see what the other has to offer.
- Check for any objections or concerns or if more information is needed (it’s not unusual to have an unstated objection in an interview, so you’ll need to probe: there maybe aspects to your background the hiring manager does not know about yet).
- Let the interviewer know why you would be the best person for the role: The best way to do this is to echo the key 3-4 job requirements you heard during the interview, and briefly and succinctly describe how you meet those requirements.
- Close on moving forward to the next interview. If it is a final interview and you want the job, be sure to let them know. The four words, “I want this job” are powerful.
Always send a follow-up email to the interviewer within 24 hours of the interview, ideally the same day. It should be a short email thanking them for the opportunity to learn about the opportunity. (No one has time to read a long email). If you want, you can underscore one aspect of what you bring to the table, but the follow-up email is not a “selling opportunity,” it is a demonstration of your professionalism and communication skills.
Note: These suggestions are building blocks. You have to be yourself. Don’t be scripted, don’t say anything that is “not you.” Use these ideas as you see fit within the context of your interview.