November is upon us, ladies and that means many things. Our Thanksgiving Pinterest boards start to boom, our fall aesthetics are in full swing, and our stomachs are in constant training for the ultimate feast at the end of the month. But with all the hustle and bustle going on in prep for the holidays, November is also a busy month for hiring. Have you ever job hunted during the summer? Take a drink for every OOO email you receive… Coming off of the lackadaisical summer, fall is when companies and hiring managers come back to reality and realize they need to get their shit together. Similarly, if people are going to look for a new job, they’ll often do it during the fall, so they can start fresh after the holiday. With a lot of movement going on and positions opening up, Q4 is a great time to start job hunting.
If you find yourself in the interview process this November, you should know that interviewing is a two-way street. As important as it is to field questions effectively, it’s just as important to ask the right questions. Not only does asking questions show your interest in the position, but it can also inform your decision on whether the position or company is what you want to pursue. Of course, the best questions to ask will come from your own research on the details of the company and position. In the same vein, it’s important not to ask questions that you could’ve easily looked up. It’s lazy and it comes across that way. Nevertheless, you should have a few surefire, standard questions in your back pocket…so here are some ideas!
1. What does success look like for this role within the first 30 days and the first year?
This is a pretty classic question, but that’s because it’s such a strong one! Entrepreneur, Gary Vaynerchuk tells his employees at Vayner Media to not look too far out when thinking about success. It’s great to have a 5-year plan, but there’s no way you can predict how much is going to change in longer periods of time. This is why getting a sense of what success looks like in the super short term and regular short term is key.
2. What drew you to working here?
Anytime you can get an interviewer to speak about themselves, you make yourself more memorable. While you shouldn’t make it seem like you’re interviewing the interviewer, asking a question like this gives you more insight on the company and also helps you build rapport with someone who will have your fate in their hands!
3. What’s the company/department’s biggest challenge and how will this position help overcome it?
This question serves as your guide for tailoring future responses to questions. If you know the pain points of the company or department, you’ll also have a head start in thinking about how you can apply your fresh perspective to make an impact. Coming in with ideas on how some serious preexisting problems can be solved will surely make a great first impression. And not for nothing, this question can shed light on whether you really want to deal with the company’s baggage!
4. From the day I start, what is one thing I can do that would make your life easier?
Empathy 👏 Always 👏 Wins 👏 . Displaying that you want to put yourself in others’ shoes and pitch in however you can is a quality that is endlessly appreciated in candidates. We’ll save the philosophical chats for another time, but if you believe people are inherently selfish, you’ll especially agree that this question is built to impress any future colleague.
5. What additional skills or experience do you wish I had that would make me a better fit for the job?
This is a great closing question because the response will hint at how well you did during the interview. It also gives you a chance to elaborate on some key experiences that might mitigate or disprove the perceived shortcomings. You can do this right then and there, or follow up in your thank you email. Either way, if you ask this question and finish by asking about next steps, and you’re golden!
What are the interview questions that have worked for you? Enlighten us by commenting below!