Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on February 25, 2020

8 Impressive Questions to Ask During an Interview

8 Impressive Questions to Ask During an Interview

I. Love. Job Interviews.

Call me crazy. Some people get super duper freaked out about job interviews. I love them. Because not only are job interviews a great way to convince companies to hire you, they are also a great way for you to learn about them. This requires preparing for all sorts of interview questions.

In my professional career, I believe I have attended more than 75 interviews as a candidate. And I’m really only spit-balling here. It could be more. This includes in-person interviews at a placement exchange or on campus. I’m not counting phone interviews. But if you count those, I’m easily over 100.

Having worked in 9 different jobs in 7 different states in the past 25 years, I’ve learned a few things about the questions I need to ask in order to determine if the organization is a good fit for me. Because this one little thing is more important than title, salary, or benefits.

It’s not whether YOU fit for them..it’s if the EMPLOYER fits for you. They’ve already done their initial research and they already believe you qualify. If you are approaching the interview from a research standpoint, you now need to determine if this place of employment is one where you will thrive, grow, and make a difference.

What I’ve learned over the years is that employees come to a job interview with different needs in mind. I will always be concerned about work/life balance and opportunities for professional development. But you might be more interested in supervision, your team, the history of the company, office culture, or the job selection process itself.

Advertising

With that in mind, here are 8 questions you can ask that cover all the bases.

1. “What are the biggest challenges that someone in this position would face?”

This question is on the job itself. It really helps pull from the interviewer what they are looking for in the new hire.

“Challenges” winds up being a trigger word for “wish list” – so when you ask the interviewer about challenges in the position, you are asking them to specify the type of employee they are seeking; but you are showing the interviewer that you are up to the task and you want to push yourself to raise the bar on your performance.

2. “What training programs are available to your employees?”

This is a basic, simple question that could be expanded on depending on the answer. Personally, this is my favourite question about training and professional development.

Whatever specific training is offered or included from the get-go will be illustrated in an answer; but the interviewer may also provide you with details on professional associations, annual conferences, or other training/development that happens in the organization.

If you have room for a follow up question, ask what conferences or seminars have other professionals in this position been able to attend.

Advertising

3. “What will you expect from me during the first day, first week, and first month of employment?”

I’ve always loved asking this question as a recruiter, but it will also get to the heart of what your supervisor or team leader is looking for in the early days of your tenure.

General expectations should be unveiled as well as the spirit and attitude expected as you get to know your team and your department. Pay close attention to these expectations, especially if you are being interviewed by the person who will be your immediate supervisor.

4. “What gets you most excited about this company’s future?”

Here’s where you’ll get a sense of the organization’s vision, especially if you are attending a panel interview and have the benefit of several people answering this question.

This is one of my favorite questions to ask since it will get you a sense of what makes the employees happy in their work. And you’ll also get a possible inside scoop on who might be somewhat unhappy at the moment – there will be a short pause before that person answers the question.

5. “Can you tell me about my direct reports? What are their strengths and the team’s biggest challenges?”

If you are going for a management position where you’ll be supervising a team, this is a great place to get started learning about them.

If the hiring manager is unable to share this information with you, tweak the question slightly by asking about the hiring requirements for those folks who will be part of your team. At the very least you can get a sense of what is required for those employees who will report to you.

Advertising

*Just a quick side note about management positions with supervisory responsibility – keep in mind that you may get hired for a position where you will inherit all the members of your team – so getting some idea of who they are and what experience and talents they have will definitely prepare you for day one…week one…and beyond.

6. “Can you tell me about the last team (or office) event you did together?”

This question will help you determine if you are going to work for a fun, progressive organization or a more conservative, traditional one.

If their last event was a store-bought cake for all the February birthdays, then you know already that there isn’t much socialization outside of the workplace….or that much creativity, for that matter.

But, if the most recent event was a team building retreat and ropes course out in the woods, then get ready for a very team driven and close knit community at work.

7. “What are the next steps in the selection process?”

This may seem obvious – but not all employers have this information together during the interview, or the hiring manager may not know it.

If you are interviewing with a traditional selection committee, they should be able to outline exactly what’s going to happen next: a second level interview, checking references, and so forth. They may even let you know how soon you’ll know any updates.

Advertising

But be prepared to leave the interview without this information and know that you’ll need to follow up. At least by asking it, the potential employer will know that you are still interested and want to be kept up to date.

8. “What do each of you enjoy the most about working here; and what is one thing you would change if you could?”

This is my very favorite question to ask at the end of the interview. It is best utilized if you have a full panel interviewing you. This was one of the questions that really made me shine at my most recent interview – which, by the way, was for the position I have now AND have had for the past 6 years.

In my years of job searching and interviewing (remember, I have taken 9 jobs at 9 different colleges over a 25 year period…), I have found that this one question lets me know a good cross-section of the things that make employees happy as well as the things that bother them. And if I hear the same thing more than once, I mark that down.

As a candidate, you may only have the luxury of asking one question; but have these questions on hand and review them often before the interview.

Remember, the interviewing team or manager is not the only one making a decision here. You should be armed with as much data-gathering material as possible so when you get the chance to ask, you are ready. If not – then use these questions as a follow up call or email for the hiring manager.

Best of luck on your interview – you’ve got this!

More Tips for Nailing an Interview

Featured photo credit: You X Ventures via unsplash.com

More by this author

Kris McPeak

Educator, Author, Career Change and Work/Life Balance Guru

8 Impressive Questions to Ask During an Interview 6 Important Interview Questions for Employers to Ask Why Job Satisfaction Is Important If You Want to Succeed Should I Quit My Job If It Makes Me Unhappy but Pays Well? 9 Practical Ways to Achieve Work Life Balance in a Busy World

Trending in Work

1 How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively 2 How Connecting Different Learning Styles Leads to Career Success 3 How to Mind Map to Visualize Your Thoughts (With Mind Map Examples) 4 Personal Branding Basics You Need to Know for Career Success 5 How To Work Remotely And Stay Productive

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on March 31, 2020

How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively

How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively

Knowledge is essential to become successful in life, your career and your business. Without learning new concepts and becoming proficient in our craft, we cannot excel in our chosen careers or archive knowledge to pass down to the next generation.

But content comes in various forms, and because how we learn influences how much we know, we need to talk about learning styles. This article will focus on how to utilize visual learning to boost your career or business.

The Importance of Knowing Your Learning Style

Knowing your learning style enables you to process new information to the best of your ability. Not only does it reduce your learning curve, you’re able to communicate these same concepts to others effectively.

But it all starts when you’re able to first identify the best way you learn.

As a college student, I soon figured out that taking online courses without visual aids or having an instructor in front of me led to poor retention of concepts.

Sure, I got good grades and performed excellently in my online exams. However. I discovered that I couldn’t maintain this performance level because I forgot 80 percent of the course content by the end of the semester.

There are several types of learning styles known to mankind. To give an idea of how visual learning stacks up against other learning styles, here’s a brief mention of some of the different types of learning styles we have.

The four most popular types of learning styles are:

Advertising

  • Visual learning style (what this article talks about).
  • Aural or auditory learning style (learning by listening to information presented).
  • Verbal or linguistic learning style (learning that involves speech and writing).
  • Tactile learning style (learning by touching and doing)

But for the purposes of this article, we will be focusing on using visual learning to boost your career or business.

How to Know If You’re a Visual Learner?

When it comes to boosting your career, business (or education), a visual learner is one who would most definitely choose shapes, images, symbols, or reading over auditory messages.

I’m talking about preferring to read an actual map when navigating to a new place over listening to verbal directions. I’m talking about discovering that you actually have trouble remembering what your manager said at the meeting because there were no graphs or illustrations to support the points raised.

Most people who struggle with learning probably aren’t leveraging their best learning styles. The earlier you identify how your learning style can boost your success, the less struggle you will encounter with processing new information throughout your career.

However, visual learning in particular CAN 10x your career or business whether it is your preferred learning style or not. And here’s why:

Several studies have arrived at the conclusion that the brain retains more information with the help of visual aids. In other words, images are directly processed by our long-term memory which helps us store information for longer periods of time.[1]

While some lessons can be performed orally, several concepts can only make sense if you have an image with an explanation of sequences (i.e learning about the human DNA).

Visual learning does use a different part of the brain and visual cues are processed by the part of the brain known as the occipital lobe.

Advertising

By engaging more parts of the brain during learning, you’re able to have a fuller understanding of concepts and facilitate better interaction with your immediate environment.

How to Use Visual Learning for Success

Here’re 4 ways to use visual learning to boost your career or business:

1. Bring back the to-do list. Then add shapes and colors to boost productivity.

We live in an age where computers have taken over virtually every aspect of productivity and most human functions. But written lists are making a comeback, and with an endless number of important tasks to complete, having a to-do list of tasks in order of importance can improve your productivity.

While coming up with a list is initially challenging, adding colors and shapes to written lists that you personally write and manage gives you an extra layer of assurance and boosts aids recall so that you actually get stuff done.

I have tried this technique in my work as a registered nurse and discovered that adding shapes and colors to to-do lists helps me delegate tasks, recognize where more work is needed, and makes it easy to cross off completed tasks at the end of the day.

2. Add graphs, charts and symbols to your reports.

Yes, it seems like more work cut out for you. However, graphs enable you monitor the heartbeat of your business.

Graphs and charts help you trend your finances, budget, and pretty much any data overtime. With the help of free and premium software available on the market, it has become easier to take plain data and in a matter of seconds, have relevant information displayed in different shapes and images.

As an entrepreneur, you can make predictions and allocate funds wisely when you’re able to see whether your efforts are rewarded. You can use colors and charts to delegate actions to members of your team and track performance at the same time.

Advertising

And when broken down into monthly, quarterly, bi-annual or annual goals, graphs and charts communicate what ordinary text cannot.

3. Effectively brainstorm with mind-mapping.

Mind-mapping is not new but I don’t think it’s been talked about as often as we do to-do lists.

With mind mapping, you’re organizing information accurately and drawing relationships between concepts and pieces from a whole.

Think of a mind map as a tree with several branches. For example, the tree can symbolize healthcare while each branch stands for nursing, medicine, laboratory science, and so on. When you look at nursing, you can further branch out into types of nursing; pediatric, women’s health, critical care, and so on.

It’s an interesting relationship; the more ideas you’re able to come up with for your chosen subject, the deeper you get and the stronger the association.

Mind maps really show you relationships between subjects and topics, and simplifies processes that might seem complicated at first glance. In a way, it is like a graphical representation of facts presented in a simple, visual format.

Mind mapping isn’t only limited to career professionals; business owners can benefit from mind mapping by organizing their online learning activities and breaking down complex tasks into simple actions so that you can accurately measure productivity.

4. Add video streaming to meetings.

What if you could double the productivity of your team members by video streaming your meetings or adding flash animation to your presentation at the same time?

Advertising

When you offer video as an alternative method of processing information to colleagues, there is a greater chance of retaining information because we recreate these stories into images in our minds.

For organizations that hold virtual meetings, it can also be an effective way to enhance performance during if people can see their colleagues in addition to flash animation or whatever form of video is provided during the meeting.

Is Visual Learning Better Than Other Learning Styles?

No, that is not the point. The goal here is to supplement your existing dominant learning style with visual learning so that you can experience a significant boost in how you process and use everyday information.

You might discover that understanding scientific concepts are much easier after incorporating visual learning or that you’re able to understand your organization’s value when projected on a visual screen with charts and graphs.

The overall goal is to always be learning and to continue to leverage visual learning style in your career and business.

More About Learning Styles

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next