4 Next-Level Questions To Ask In A Job Interview

Every part of the hiring process counts, but a face-to-face meeting is the best opportunity to dazzle the boss and land a coveted offer.

To maximize those precious moments, here are the four types of interview questions everyone should ask an employer.

Each question demonstrates critical thinking and declares: I’m in it to win it.

Note: to answer interview questions in a memorable way, tell stories. Here’s how.

Scenario: you interview to do marketing/communications for a grocery chain.

1. The Background Check

People love to talk about themselves. Period. If you come prepared with a question about the boss’s career (thanks to LinkedIn or a website bio), he will perk up, brag on himself and find you impressive — even though you only asked a question and listened.

Sample interview question

“I noticed you started your career in marketing for Ringling Brothers circus. What was that experience like?”

2. The Office Insight

Every company has a website. So read it before the interview. Check out past and current projects, staff bios and gain a general sense of the office culture. Then, drop a question to prove you did your homework.

Sample interview question

“I read several of your recent press releases and saw you’re making a push to carry more gluten-free products. How big is the demand right now for gluten-free foods?”

3. The “Wow” Factor

The bio question, the company question…both solid. Now, turn your focus to the industry, in general. Read news about the grocery biz and put the company in context with the latest headlines. That’s next-level stuff , which prompts a “wow” from the boss.

Sample interview question

“I see [company A] bought [company B]. The deal seems like a major shake-up in the grocery industry. What does the [company A] takeover say to you?”

4. The Inception

With the “wow” question, you took the interview from an uncomfortable boss-applicant arrangement to a conversation among peers. Now, plant a seed in the manager’s brain with a cool marketing idea. Make him feel like he needs you on the team right now.

Sample interview question

“I like the way your store offers online deals based on my previous purchases. For me, a twenty-something, it’s a smart strategy. Wouldn’t it be cool to do a targeted campaign to reach people where they spend time online?”

Boss says, “You know, that’s a really good idea.”

For your next job interview, come with a set of questions no one else will have.

Be smarter. Be one notch better.

Be different.


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10 Pre-Game Interview Tips Candidates Won’t Laugh At

Not often enough are we ever truly prepared for what lies ahead in our daily obstacles. Sadly, this tends to be the case when interviewing candidates. But what if our hiring strategy took the time to incorporate interview tips that could earn better hiring results and keep candidates from laughing at our approach? Success makes it easy for us to forget that it may have been our preparation that led to a positive outcome. Hiring talent is kind of a big deal. Think of the time and money that gets invested into finding and hiring talent. And even worse, when hiring goes sour it can tap on employee turnover and disengagement to the bill.

Wooing talent is about bringing your “A” game to the interviewing process. It’s not about making the interviewing process awkward for candidates. A study done by Robert Half found that 36 percent of 1,400 surveyed executives discovered their leading factor for failed hires other than performance problems, was poor skills matching. Meaning, perhaps there’s something missing in how we prepare ourselves to interview candidates. Remember, candidates are expected to show up prepared for an interview. Shouldn’t we hold ourselves accountable as well?

Preparation is what allows us to take steps forward in evaluating skill sets, personality traits, and candidates more effectively. Incorporating specific interview tips into our pre-game regime is a simple reminder that interviewing candidates is a serious business, not a laughable one.

10 Pre-Game Interview Tips Candidates Won’t Laugh At 


1. Be Timely

If you schedule an interview with a candidate, please be on time. Place yourself in his or her shoes, and ask yourself, “How would I feel if the interviewer showed up late and rushed our meeting?” Show up on time, because it tells the candidate you’re taking the process seriously.

2. Show Up With A Game Plan

When you know why you’re interviewing candidates, then you know what to look for. Figure out before you interview candidates the kind of skills and experience that will be needed to fill the position, then incorporate them into your hiring game plan.

3. Actually Review CVs

If HR managers are spending an average of 6 seconds reviewing CVs, then how prepared are they really to interview candidates? Take a good look at the candidate’s CV before you meet. You might discover something that you would like to investigate further during the interview.

4. Prepare A Set Of Questions

Depending on what you’re trying to measure and understand from a candidate, you’ll want to ask questions that will draw out the answers you seek. Don’t just use a generic template of questions for interviewing candidates. Curate your questions based on their skills and interests.

5. Establish Dialogue Pre-Interview

Engaging with candidates before you meet them is a part of the entire candidate experience process. So be friendly and hospitable to candidates. You don’t want them tweeting about your cold candidate experience.

6. Prep Candidates About The Interview

Interviews are like awkward first dates. Don’t surprise candidates during the process. Talk to them before the interview and give them a sense of where its direction will go. Honestly, what do we gain from letting candidates walk into interviews like blind bats?

7. Be Presentable

Being presentable doesn’t just imply wearing professional attire. It’s about telling candidates who your organization may be. How your organization is presented aligns with how candidates think about your company. Display intelligence, support, and feedback during the interviewing process.

8. Practice Small Talk

Interviews are about sizing up candidates. And neglecting to make small talk with candidates creates missed opportunities to better understand what candidates are about. We get so caught up on measuring skills and experience that we forget who people are is also worth measuring.

9. Don’t Be A Doodler During The Interview

While being a doodler during a college lecture may have only been harmful to yourself, when it comes to interviewing candidates it’s not acceptable. Be present, and mindful of the time commitment that candidates have made. Hear what they have to say. Don’t be rude.

10. Remember To Fine-Tune Your Skills

While preparation gets us closer to perfection, it’s asking for feedback about our performance that tells us what we can do a better job of preparing for. Becoming better at interviewing candidates is about being able to provide candidates with a better experience.

Fernando Ramirez is a seasoned blogger on trending human resources, thought leadership, and recruiting topics. He is a contributor on TalentCulture and This article was originally published on JobisJob, which is a job search engine that gives jobseekers and recruiters a headstart in the employment game by making it as easy as possible for you to find them, and for them to find you.

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