So you’ve applied for a job and secured a phone interview for a role you’re ecstatic about. Or perhaps you’ve passed the phone screen and have been invited for an on-site interview with a hiring manager. You’ve researched the company mission statement and skimmed through Glassdoor reviews to get a sense of the pros and cons of the company. This following tool will help you prepare for your next interview. It will organize your thoughts and questions while making you look more prepared than any other candidate.
The 3 categories of questions to ask in an interview are separated into:
Questions about you (the person you’re speaking to)
Company Specific Questions
Role Specific Questions
Now – the document I’m going to share has about 15 questions. Many of the questions will be stitched into your conversation. If you get to the end of the interview and the person says, “Do you have any questions..” You won’t have the time to ask 15 questions, so I recommend placing an asterisk to your top 3-4 questions you would absolutely regret not asking. This has been crafted as the result of countless interviews where I’ve organized my thoughts and prioritized my questions based on the person I’m interviewing with.
My two favorite open-ended questions have provided some of the most candid and insightful responses. Ironically, they are super simple:
1- What keeps you here?
Interviewers open up about what truly excited them to get out of bed to work for that company.
2- If you could change 2 things about the company that aren’t product related, what would they be?
Everyone product dumps – this is your opportunity to get the scoop on the cons. Perhaps decisions take forever to get implemented, or you’ll learn that upward mobility is limited. This could be the make or break feedback that helps you weigh your decision to work there.
Below are the questions, remember that if you’re speaking with a recruiter versus a hiring manager some of the questions should be different. The recruiter could provide color on the culture of the company, but may not know how the sales team has performed over the last 6 months because they are not involved in those types of conversations.
Print this out and take notes on it so your thoughts are organized and kept on one sheet of paper. In person it shows that you’ve prepared as best as possible. Best of luck!
(copy & paste onto a Word doc)
Q’s about you
What do you do? What are the roles & responsibilities of your job?
Are you optimistic about the company’s future and why?
*If you can change 2 things about the company that aren’t product related, what would they be?
*What keeps you here?
*How would you describe leadership here?
How would you describe the value proposition to an 8-year old?
What does the company do to contribute to the employees’ professional development?
What do you think it takes to be successful at here?
What are 2 or 3 accomplishments that have given you the most satisfaction and why?
Role Specific Questions
Can you describethe dynamic of the team and how they work together?
*How do you measure success in this role?
Walk me through a day in the life of someone in this role?
What are some of the biggest obstacles in this role?
What’s the typical career path for someone in this position?
How has the team performed over the last 6 months?
Omaid Homayun Bio: Omaid spent the last 10 years working in tech in various direct and channel sales roles at Verizon, BlackBerry, and Google. In his current role at Gartner he strategizes closely with senior leadership at enterprise tech startups in Silicon Valley to help them optimize their go-to market strategy, gain marketshare, and uniquely position their brand.