Whether you’re on an interview for a new job, going for a promotion, or pitching services to a new clientthere’s always some questions you should ask yourself and the interviewer to meet your goals and the goals of the organization. In ANY interview situation, you should be interviewing them as much as they are you!  

Before your interview, you need to do some pre-work and research. Ask yourself some questions so you know what you offer, what they need, and why you want this position. Because, if you don’t know then how will you successfully sell yourself?  

Targeted questions and answers help provide you with better results. As I’ve mentioned in past blogs, asking questions creates trust and relationships – which everyone needs to meet their goals! No one does it alone! Showing a better understanding and curiosity about someone’s business, goals and challenges shows respect for the other person’s time and effort. 

So, first, do some self-introspection
What’s your end game? Is this a transitional job, a stepping stone, or a ride or die finale 
Do some soul searching beyond “what can you do for me?”

What can you do for them? I had a friend who only wanted to take on a few clients as a time. She knew what she wanted – and it wasn’t to work more than full-time. That’s great insight! So, she was honest with future clients about what she could offer and how much she could take on. However, that meant that some clients just weren’t for her. So, no one wasted their time trying to make something work that wasn’t going to be a mutual fit. Do you know your boundaries and goals? 

What’s the client’s end game? Is this a new position they want to develop and grow,  or is it a temporary gap fill? Does this position sound like one that doesn’t have upward mobility? What is the need this position fills? Can you provide that solution? Does this meet your own goals? 

What are the company’s or organization’s goals?

What are the consequences or not meeting those goals – for you and for them? Do you know their biggest challenges? Why are those challenges difficult to solve? Do they have a plan to solve them? What will you need to meet them? 

What does the organization value most? Is it based on innovation and risk or tradition and security? Do they promote from within or always looking for fresh faces?  

What are the pain points for their customers? Who are their three biggest competitors? Who are the decision makers? And what do they view a “success” for this position?  

Finally, if you really want to deepen the relationship you’re creating, ask them what makes them excited to come to work every day? That can be a very telling answer!  

You can see these questions are good for pre-interview prep work, but also great to keep in your back pocket for the end of the interview when they ALWAYS ask, “Do you have any questions for me?” You should always be prepared with at least 2-3 thoughtful questions that show your level of interest!