Let’s approach this situation as if you have sought and obtained an interview for either a job change or a promotion within your present organization. You have carefully detailed your qualifications, experience and objectives. Now, the interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions before we wrap up?”
Often, candidates will ask about benefits or some other benign subject. But here is a twist that may be worth considering. I came across an article written by Marshall Darr who suggests that asking this question could possibly “add value to the conversation.” He offered a format for the question as follows:
Actually yeah, I was wondering what your best moment so far at (company name here) was?”
This question could offer you some insights on the interviewer’s values, the company, and how well you might fit in. Think about it: There’s no higher note to end on than with your interviewer’s fondest memory of the company, a feeling that can now be subconsciously associated with your prospects as a future employee.
And aside from being an emotional plus for you, it’ll also give you an idea of what your future co-workers might value, and the kind of culture that company cultivates for its team members. If your interviewer struggles to come up with a meaningful memory, that could be a helpful “red flag” if they make you an offer.
On a more positive note, there are a few other questions that may add value for you or help you to evaluate whether or not you wish to further consider an opportunity with the company or organization.
Here are three (3) other possible questions:
- What is the most cherished value of this company? The answer will help you to understand how they value or define success. If your value structure is different, carefully consider whether this company or organization is right for you.
- What has been your biggest disappointment with this organization? If the interviewer, particularly if he or she is the hiring manager, is unable to articulate this response, consider it a huge “red flag.” The inability to be candid about this may be a window into the “real” culture of the organization.
- What has been your biggest achievement with this company? If the hiring manager is unable to favorably recall or reflect fondly upon his or her achievements, it could mean that your achievements will go unnoticed, as well.
Each of us speak somewhat differently. So, you should rephrase these questions in a manner that is consistent with your personal style.
Consider the interviewer. Does that person seem likely to carefully consider your question or view it as “out of order?”
Do you care enough about the opportunity to even bother asking the aforementioned questions? If so, pose the question as professionally and politely as possible and evaluate the response.
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