Interviewing 3 - Ask the right questions

Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2018 by Venn Group2 comments

As recipients of feedback from hundreds of interviews every day we know that nothing does more to damage good candidacy than a lack of preparation. Hiring managers agree constructing some well-crafted questions is an essential element to take an interview from standard to stellar.


Convey your value

As a great candidate you have strengths to showcase, valuable experiences to bring and passions to harness. However, an interviewer’s laser focus might miss something that elevates your unique candidacy. Well phrased questions highlight super-powers that might otherwise go undiscovered.

Armed with a list of reasons for which you will excel at the role prepare questions that identify the value you can bring. For example “Would my experience building power point presentations for meetings be helpful to the team here?”.  This way you can guarantee the chance to shine even if your interviewer neglects to ask about your biggest selling point.


Confirm it’s right

After the interview you have a decision to make too. Your questions provide the chance to appraise the opportunity on your own terms. Before the interview consider what you will need to know in order to make a decision. It can help to discuss this with a consultant that knows you, the market and the role.

During the interview cross off anything that is answered or becomes irrelevant, leaving the questions you need to ask to assess the position fully. Our experience tells us that interviewers feel more confident offering jobs to candidates they believe properly understand the role.


Create a connection

Arriving for interview armed with great questions can convey your enthusiasm for the position. Nothing builds a connection better than thoughtful questions about the people you hope to work with. Asking how the interviewer’s role is changing for example is a good way to show personal interest.

Insider knowledge from your consultant about the interviewer can be an invaluable asset in designing the perfect question and make sure that your research includes a review of the interviewer’s LinkedIn profile to identify any background you share.


Clarify the future

Any good consultant will advise you to ask questions that let you know where you stand. However, rather than focussing on what concerns an interviewer may have try to frame this positively. “What skills or experiences might I need to develop that could help me succeed in this position?”. The answer will provide you with the opportunity to address anything the interview hasn’t covered.

Once you have thanked the interviewer, identifying the particular areas that have been of most interest, get some clarity on the next steps to the process.  Asking about timelines will help level your expectations and asking what you’ll need to display at future stages will enable you to get some extra tips.



“The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge”

                                                                                                                   Bertrand Russel

Questions are your opportunity to bring the interview to an end on a real high. They convey your strengths, create a personal connection, confirm the role is right and clarify where you stand. For more advice about what to ask and how to ask it give us a call.

What are you favourite do’s and don’ts for interview questions?


Ben Browning

Training Manager



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2 comments on "Interviewing 3 - Ask the right questions"

  • Ben Taylor says: 20 April 2018 at 15:48

    Some great food for thought here. A question that I always like to ask potential employers is "If you were interviewing yourself at the start of your career, what one golden nugget of advice would you give yourself that you wish you had known early on?" This can quite often uncover any hidden truths about a job that are not publicised. I have also been given some gems of advice asking this. Win Win!!

  • Anders Eriksen says: 20 April 2018 at 16:17

    Very useful stuff in this, a good, quick prep for any interviewee. A classic question, and glaring cliché, is being asked for your biggest weakness. From my experience it's always best to go honest. "I'm too much of a perfectionist" or "I care to much", is just irritating and evasive. Get into a real, ugly flaw, and talk about how you're working to overcome it. Nobody's perfect!