12 Questions that Make you Look Like a Genius During Job Interviews
The questions you ask reveal your concerns, values, aspirations, and priorities.
The questions you ask reflect who you are.
No questions indicate:
- Low engagement.
- Inactive brains.
- Fear of looking dumb.
- Lack of aspiration.
- The belief that you already know.
12 Questions that make you look like a genius during job interviews:
- What new challenges/opportunities is your organization facing over the next year or two?
- How might (insert the position you’re applying for) have positive impact on these new challenges/opportunities?
- Imagine that you hire me and a year has passed. Things worked out better than you imagined. “What three things did I do that made you really glad you hired me?”
- A year from now you’re saying to yourself, “I’m really sad we hired the person we chose. What three things did that person do that made you sad you hired him?”
- If you could improve three things about your organization what would you improve?
- When you think of your organization, what fills you with gratitude? Optimism? Concern?
- Who is currently making important contributions to your organization? What qualities do they have that are adding such value?
- Who has gotten ahead in your organization? To what do you attribute their advancement?
- What three things differentiate people who are really great in this organization – from those who are simply good?
- What does success look like in this position?
- What three challenges/opportunities will the person who earns this position face in the first year?
- What do you enjoy about your job? (Learn about the person giving the interview.)
Leaderly questions are above all forward-facing. Leaders think more about where they are going than where they have been.
What questions would you add to the above 12?
Which of the above questions seem most useful? Why?
Dan – to clarify, are you suggesting to ask all of these questions in an interview? I feel like this would be way too much.
Thanks Jon… NO, pick the one or two that seem most relevant.
Thank you for your daily post. My colleague and I read them religiously, discuss them in the mornings and share them with our network.
I like the design of these questions because it allows candidates an opportunity to have skin in the game once employed. In addition, these questions should be used by current employees for self reflection, during a review or one-on-one.
The key here is for the candidate or employee to be prepared to take action on what ever question they choose to ask from the list. I don’t recommend asking all of them.
My recommended question:
What will I be reviewed on one year from today of employed with your organization?
I like #7 – Who is a roll model for success and why – This will say a lot about what is valued in the organization.
Great Piece !, for self reflection.
My question: How will you grade your organization with regard to innovation? Any examples if you can share?
I like #9 and also would like to ask the interviewer these “Do you enjoy your current position” “What do you feel a successful candidate for this position will look like”
Thanks Suzanne. You might try, “What do you like about your current position?” A “what” question might instigate more conversation. (Just a thought) Thanks again for jumping in. Cheers
Thank you very much Dan! I have been working for a federal organization for 24 years and there are chances that I will stay within the same department for my entire career. I work at National Headquarters and I know most of the executives who are on competitive selection boards. I can see how I could use or put a spin on some of your questions. As we know some managers can feel threaten or insecure by being put on the spot especially in front of their colleagues. How can I introduce these questions in a non-threatening way… I do not want to burn bridges. I have been coached to end an interview by focusing on me and why I want the job and why they would want to have me in the position (what I can bring to the position and the team) and that it is best not to ask questions about the process (no one wants to feel pressure by being asked when the process will be completed). The last think I want is to annoy them. So would you just focus on one or two questions? What would they be? I am well aware of our department’s challenges and priorities (keeping in mind the big picture of our federal government’s current priorities and objectives). I believe that the approach and attitude that you portrait has an impact on how your questions are received but I would value your thoughts on this.
I had a surprise opportunity to use some of these questions on Friday (short notice career trajectory meeting with a VP) and I’m very grateful I’d read this post recently!
Asking better questions has been an area I continue to target for personal development, and listening to questions asked by leaders I respect (and trying to understand why that question was asked) is one of my favorite ways to learn.