How can asking great questions in an interview help you as a candidate?
Whether established by HR or by habit, most interviews typically follow a predestined course. As such, most interviewers are only comfortable paddling down the familiar interview river that has been pre-charted for them. The nature of an interview puts the candidate at a disadvantage. You’re already playing on their home field; why let them keep all the advantages? So how do we go about leveling the playing field? That’s right, we make the interview a more evenly refereed match by asking great questions.
By encouraging the interviewer into territory that he may not be completely familiar with and removing him from his comfort zone, you are naturally neutralizing part of the company’s advantage. The more thoughtful and unique the questions you ask, the more quickly and smoothly you will neutralize the interviewer’s advantage in the conversation. Forcing the interviewer to think on his feet gives you the opportunity to steer the process away from a formal “question & answer” interaction, and create a more casual, relaxed and open conversation.
This is the type of pressure-free environment in which you will perform best. You’ll also be able to get a genuine feel for the job’s intricacies while creating a good bond with the interviewer. Most interviewers will appreciate the slight challenge that comes with taking part in a new type interview interaction.
For types of questions to ask and concepts to consider in the interview, we’ll cover that in the next “Ask Great Questions” blog.