A couple of days ago, while I was developing some questions for a senior executive interview process, Aaron our Chief Awesomeness Officer made a good point. He claimed to know the best ever interview question, which got me intrigued.
“Just ask them WHY”
And he’s right, that simple word can evoke so much out of an interview. But so often we over complicate what should be a straightforward process; by trying to develop clever questions that we think will really test applicants metal.
So many times I have sat in an interview bewildered that so few people answer this question really well.
“Why are you interested in this job?” “Why did you apply for this role?”
Nine times out of ten this question elicits a raft of reasons why they aren’t happy in their current role or organisation – rather than outlining why this job or organisation (ideally you would discuss both aspects) is of interest.
This is because many people get caught up in the “what’s in this for me” aspect of job seeking, which is fine – but keep that to yourself. It’s important to demonstrate that you are keen to develop and progress in your career and therefore your rationale for applying, but you also need to show a keen interest in the organisation and/or sector – along with what you will contribute.
An effective interview is a mutual process. Gone are the days where candidates should passively sit back and wait to respond to questions. To effectively build rapport, an informed two-way discussion needs to take place where both sides display genuine interest.
This takes good preparation and critical thinking and this is where those individuals with higher levels of emotional intelligence come to the fore. A great interview process allows both parties to ensure the technical, behavioural and cultural aspects fit – it’s a shame so many don’t get this right…….