For future job interviews, here is a way you can take control and let the employer do the thinking.
No matter how well you prepare for a job interview, you never know what an employer might ask. You’ve got to be ready for anything.
But what if there was a way you could hold the reins and let the employer do the thinking? In honor of the final season of , is that something you might be interested in?
Here’s how: Learn to ask solid questions. Not just biographical stuff, like how long your interviewer has been at the company and where she went to school. Ask questions that take your interest to the next level, ones that show you’re not only serious about the position, but also knowledgeable about the company and its particular industry.
Let’s say you want a job in PR. You might say to your interviewer, “So many companies today already know how to reach customers through Facebook and Twitter. What do you think is the next online frontier? Are your clients looking for something more?”
Or say you want a job as a chef. Try: “I read an article recently that said right now. Are you interested in creating menu items with that in mind?”
This technique will help you regardless of the job you’re applying for, regardless of the industry. Everything you need to craft great questions is waiting for you on the web.
So before the interview, do your research. Read trade articles. Browse the company’s website – more than once. Skim bios of employees listed on the site and get a sense of where they’re coming from. And don’t forget to check out the competition and what they’re up to.
As you read, think broadly about the company, its challenges and the underlying trends in the industry. Show the employer you have given the interview – and the company – considerable time and attention.
Here are a few more examples. Say you want to sell cars:
“I read that for the dealership but not great at helping to sell cars. Do you think social media is a good strategy for car dealers?” (I found this article in three seconds by Googling “car dealerships” and searching under “news.” This type of research doesn’t have to take all day.)
Finally, a job at an environmental non-profit:
“I’m curious how the economy has affected this organization. There’s such a push for conservation, but we’re still climbing out of a recession. What are some of the biggest challenges your team faces in terms of financial support?”
These next-level questions aren’t meant to prove you’re smarter than the boss. On the flipside, they show you’re generally interested in what the company does and already thinking about ways you could help. To employers, that shows initiative, maturity and a bit of moxie.
Holding the reins in a job interview. It’s a beautiful thing.
is a member of the .