Preparing for a job interview is tricky. As an expert career coach who has helped hundreds of people land six-figure salaries, Natalie Fisher found one of the biggest mistakes candidates make is failing to ask strong questions.
Instead, they obsess over giving the right answers. But you don’t want to be the person who freezes when the hiring manager pauses at the end of the meeting and says, “Do you have any questions for me?”
There’s one question in particular that she tells people to always ask at job interviews (some have even told her it helped them land an offer on the spot): “If the new hire was to achieve one thing that would blow your mind, what would it be?”
It shows that you are strategic and think ahead.
With this question, you’re telling your potential employer that you don’t just do the bare minimum, but that you plan to go above and beyond.
Plus, it makes you seem confident enough to use fun, playful language. Too many people stray away from showing personality in an interview.
Sometimes the hiring manager won’t know how to answer this question, so it creates space to discuss and envision what could be possible together if you were hired.
How to make the most out of this question:
Typically, the hiring manager will respond with a smile, think for a minute, then answer with their current goals and how the ideal candidate would perform (or over-perform).
To respond, share how you’ve reached a similar goal in the past. For example, the hiring manager tells you: “It would blow my mind if, within six months, the candidate we hire sold our product at 100% of their quota.”
If you have experience performing at that quota, you could say: “I’ve done just that! Within six months of starting my current job, I hit 150% of the company’s trainee quota.”
If you haven’t reached such a lofty goal, respond with follow-up questions that show your enthusiasm for delivering on it. In the example above, you could ask if anyone on their team has achieved it, and what made them so successful.
Then explain why you have what it takes: “It sounds like building relationships in new sectors has been key for your top sales performers. I’ve been doing this at [X and Y companies] in [X underrepresented sector] in the past five years. I’m confident that I can bring them here as clients.”
How to spot the red flags:
You can learn a lot by how the hiring manager responds, too. If they react negatively to this question, it could mean they are not receptive to you thinking creatively. It may be a “sit down and shut up” environment with limited room for growth.
If they come up with unrealistic goals, it may be an environment that asks too much of its employees, or has a poor work-life balance.
Remember, it’s not just the employer analyzing whether or not you’re a good fit for the role. You also need to ask yourself: “Will I be happy at this company?”
Source: Natalie Fisher, CNBC