Don’t Forget this KEY Question on your Next Interview

success keyMost candidates know that asking insightful questions in an interview is a great opportunity to learn more about the role, convey an interest in the job, and demonstrate savvy about the company.  While your questions will vary based on the position you are interviewing for, there is one KEY question that you should ask at the end of every interview:

“Is there anything about my background or experience that concerns you about my ability to be successful in this job?”

Here’s why you need to ask the KEY question:

1)      Many Hiring Managers have limited training in how to conduct a thorough interview.  Therefore, it is YOUR responsibility as a candidate, regardless of the questions asked, to ensure you get your core qualifications across during the 45 minutes that you have.  If the Interviewer fails to inquire about your leadership experience, they may later assume that you don’t have the right skillset to be a Manager.  It sucks, but it also happens all the time. If you ask the KEY question, it can prompt the Interviewer to take another look and ensure they have all the data they need.

2)      People are human.  Humans make assumptions. Many assumptions go left unexamined.   Asking the KEY question gives you an opportunity to erase any doubt the Interviewer may have about hiring you.  For example, she may respond, “Well, I’m a bit concerned that this will be a very long commute for you.”   This gives you a chance to offer information that can eliminate this concern:  “Well, actually, my gym is located near here, so I’m out this way several times each week already.”   

3)      If the Hiring Manager has no concerns, asking the KEY question forces her to “psychologically close” on you as a good match.  Consider the response, “Well, no, I can’t actually think of any concerns about your ability to do this job.”  This won’t guarantee an offer, but does encourage the Hiring Manager to come to a positive conclusion about your candidacy for the role.

While you should make the statement your own and ask the KEY question in a way that is most comfortable for you, avoid simply asking, “Am I a good fit for the role?”   Although this seems very similar, this wording puts the Hiring Manager on the spot and limits how she can respond.  You may get a “yes”, but making your Interviewer uncomfortable isn’t a great way to start a long-term relationship.

Happy Interviewing!

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