My #1 favourite interview question is one YOU ask

At the end of almost every interview, you will be given a chance to ask your own questions.

Now what?

There are many "traditional" questions you could ask:

  • What is a typical career track for someone like me at [Company X]?
  • Can you describe the culture of [Company X]?
  • How would you say [Company X] differentiates itself from its top industry competitors?

...etc. Anyone can google "top questions to ask at end of interview" and find questions like these.

But I don't recommend you start with any of these questions.

The A+ Interviews approach is to turn every interview into more of a conversation. Think about a normal conversation between friends (at at least, between acquaintances): it's interactive, enjoyable and naturally rewarding.

So, how might we allow this conversation to feel more rewarding, especially for interviewer?

In psychology, one of the scientifically proven ways to do that is to let people talk about themselves (source).

When it is your turn to ask questions, focus first on the questions that let the interviewer speak about themselves, such as:

  • Can you tell me about your own background and how came into your role?
  • I'm curious what your own biggest reasons are for working here?
  • What do you find personally to be the biggest challenges in your role? What keeps you up at night?

The last example question above is my favorite question. It's simply the BEST. Very few people ask it (probably because it's rarely seen on those generic articles and books about interviewing), yet it is so powerful. Not only does it allow the interview to talk about his own thoughts and himself, it also creates a situation where (s)he is confiding in you -- like someone does to a trusted friend, advisor or employee.

That's a good position to be in, even if it is for a few minutes during an interview.

BONUS TIP: This type of question also opens up the opportunity for you to suggest or ask about solutions that address those challenges (just make sure to bring them up more as questions or you risk sounding like you're over-simplifying a pretty complicated problem). You can then already start speaking like you are part of the interviewer's team, coming up with ways to help him personally and solve the biggest problems. This can help the interviewer naturally picture you in the role already. That's powerful.

The bottom line

When it's time to ask your own questions, first ask those that let the interviewer speak about himself or his own views.

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