Best Interview Question to Ask (even when you’re not interviewing)

Do you have a favorite question to ask the interviewer?

Let me set the scene. You’ve spent an intense 30-60 minutes talking about your experience and why you are a great candidate for the job. As the interview comes to a close, the interviewer asks you, “Do you have any (more) questions?”

What do you say? I’ve seen many lists of powerful questions to ask, but I have one clear favorite. I can’t recall where I first learned this magic question, but I have used it myself for many years. It’s so powerful I recommend it to all my clients (and anyone else who asks).

Are you ready to know the magic words to say? Here you go:

“What results do you need to see in 3- (6- or 9- ) months from the person you hire in order for you to consider this person a success in this position?”

Here are just a few reasons I absolutely love this question.

1. It works for you at any level, from staff-level to C-level (CEO, CIO, COO, CTO, and more). You can adapt this question no matter what level you apply for.

2. It is adaptable to almost any industry. I have used it extensively in IT, software development, and technology based jobs. I have also seen it work well for sales, financial services, customer service, social work, and teaching jobs.

3. This question helps create the impression that you are someone who knows how to be successful. It focuses on what it takes to succeed in this job. It shows that you want to know what matters most to the hiring company.

4. This question gets you concrete information you can use to understand what the job is really about, not just what they say in the job description. I recommend asking this question to everyone who interviews you and then compare the answers. You want to know what they want from you before you accept an offer. This question can give you that information. It can also tell you about how the organization works together and communicates with each other. The answers to this question can also give you clues about the internal politics before you become an employee.

5. Best of all, you can even use it in your current job to help improve your career. This is a great question to ask at performance review time, to get your boss to be clear with you about what she or he expects from you over the next year. Document the answer to this question, then track and report your progress as the year unfolds.

I challenge you to use this question in your next job interview or in your next 1-on-1 meeting with your boss. And then shoot me an email and let me know what you discover.

If you have a favorite question, I’d love to hear it. Just post it below or email me.

 

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Client Stories

What did you need at the time you hired Lori?


I wanted to work in my industry and didn't know how to progress any further than I was. I knew I had much experience that could be put in the industry of my choice but not how to parlay that experience. I needed guidance.

What did you and Lori do together?


Many, many things. Overall, to get clear in my mind what I offered and really what I wanted in a work environment. Every week was another epiphany after another. One of my favorites was the "knowing your core values". Having had some experience on this subject I was all ready to dive-in. Core Values is key. Knowing your core values. 

Lori makes it so easy to pinpoint. One time we were speaking about something else and we both realized...OMG...that is a core value for me. I hadn't written it down before, but discovered later that if ever a core value fit me...it was the one I mentioned at that time.  Knowing that piece of information also answered a long standing question in my head.  One of the "why's" as to my constant upset with other places I had worked.

What were the results from working with Lori?


Many things. One is a great looking resume. I thought, wow, I look good and it was all from work I had already done elsewhere but didn't know how to say it or present it. Another is the clarity of knowing where I will feel good when I do work. What I really want and with the kind of people I really want to work with on a daily basis. This entire process is so valuable. The best money I ever spent and I am not kidding or exaggerating. I was only hoping it would be valuable and it really was valuable.< I know stuff and it has value and is marketable. Lori showed me those things and it gives me confidence.

Anything else you’d like to add?


Lori delivers above and beyond. The highest quality of exchange, 'more than you expected.' I told my friends this over and over: 'I wish I had her 10-20-even 30 years ago.' Every one, and I mean EVERYONE, needs a Lori. Her understanding,patience, how she problem solves, putting things in simple terms, was mind blowing. I wish I could that well. I present a problem and she could turn it around and yes...another epiphany.

Lori, is worth every penny. It isn't about a title. It is about enjoying everyday doing work you love with people you like and are like minded. You'll know what you are looking for when you interview.  I never say this, but I will say it here. Lori is a major key into the rest of my life doing what I always wanted to do. That is: Being happy doing what I do, everyday. Something I have been saying for years. Allowing Sherlock...to be Sherlock.  Finding my people. They are out there and now I know what I am looking for in that respect.

LORI ROCKS!!!!!!

Sherlock Ganz, Los Angeles, CA