Putting the NCW in Interviewing…
At NCW, our recruiters work hard to get our candidates interviews for jobs. We consult with our candidates before every interview and do our best to prepare them with wardrobe tips, and challenging questions they might encounter among other things. But once they’re in the room, it’s their time to shine. An interview can make or break the next steps in the process, so how can we prevent candidates from making mistakes? Through preparation. At NCW we always want our candidates to put their best foot forward, and we’re prepared to help them do that through every step of the process- including the interview. Keep reading to get an inside scoop on the Art of Interviewing: NCW-Style, where we will discuss preparing for different stages of the interview process in detail.
“Do you have any questions for us?”
If you’ve ever been in an interview, chances are you have heard this question before. After being in the hot seat for most of the interview, you finally get the mic. It’s your turn to fire away. When the interviewee isn’t properly prepared, they often pass on the opportunity to ask questions, simply because they feel satisfied with all that has been said. But that isn’t NCW Style, nor a best practice for interviews.
When you encounter this question, it may feel polite to say “No, you’ve covered everything.” But this could actually be an oversight that minimizes your chance at the position.
Susan P. Joyce, at Job-Hunt.org, points out that employers are not interested in half-hearted answers from candidates: “Typically, a job seeker with no questions is assumed to be either not really interested or not very bright.”
Even if you feel satisfied with what’s been presented, you should still have questions on deck that don’t provoke a regurgitation of anything that’s already been said. It’s important to keep in mind that you are also interviewing the company, it’s a two-way street.
Tip: Don’t forget, you don’t have to wait until the end to ask questions! It is okay and sometimes encouraged, to ask questions as you think of them as long as they are relevant to the conversation and the information being shared.
Why does this matter? A few reasons…
- Your questions should prove to your interviewer that you have considered the position to the extent that you have exhausted all resources already available to you, and want to get deeper. These questions should show your curiosity and interest beyond just “facts.” Asking good questions is one way to show that the position you’re interviewing for means something to you.
- You want to show that you have done your research on the company itself. Researching a company is crucial before an interview. Using your time for questions to ask about company culture is great, but what about specific events or blogs you found on their website? Can you ask a question about the recent press you saw the company in?
What should I ask?
Recruiters are experts in their industry. They know more than just the name of the company they are working with. They can tell you things like the state of the employment marketplace or the current trends within your specific profession, and more. If anything it’s nice to connect with a recruiter to get some of your burning job-market questions asked.
Asking thoughtful questions can be what gives you an extra edge in an interview. When you’re contemplating questions you could ask, try thinking outside of the box. If you ask them something they haven’t heard before, you’ve not only made the interview more interesting for them, but have given them a lasting impression of you.
Beyond impressions, your questions should reflect answers you need to make your decision. We mentioned earlier that you, the candidate, are interviewing your potential employer. You want to ask questions that can move the needle for you to make a career switch. It’s not valuable to ask questions just to ask them.
No one question is going to be perfect for each company you interview with. That is why it’s so important to do proper research beforehand so you can craft thought-provoking questions. However, if you need a place to start here are some good questions to ask:
- How will my work contribute to the organization’s mission?
- What sort of development and/or learning opportunities does the company offer?
- What are some of the department’s long-term goals?
- Tell me about the biggest challenges facing the company/department.
- What’s your favorite part about working here?
Tip: Make your questions open ended! You always want to prompt more discussion about what the interviewers are passionate about… their company! Asking yes or no questions leaves little room for expansion and can force you to move too quickly to the next question.
A good interview question should…
- Give you an opportunity to prove that you’re a good fit by showing the interviewer that you prepared.
- Help you develop an understanding of your compatibility with the role and the organization.
It’s go time..
When you’re going into an interview, remember it’s okay to write down your questions prior. When you get asked the big question towards the end of the interview, you should feel empowered to reference your list of thoughtfully-prepared questions and take detailed notes. Ultimately, they’re being interviewed too, and collecting this information will give you information to consider post-interview as you make your final decision.
Looking for more interview tips? Check out our interview guide here.
Looking for a new career? Visit our job board here to see what positions we have open!