By | Abhijit Bhaduri | Founder, Abhijit Bhaduri & Associates
According to a new research by Harvard Business School professors Alison Wood Brooks, Karen Huang, Michael Yeomans, Julia Minson, and Francesca Gino, people who ask follow-up questions are perceived as higher in responsiveness, an interpersonal construct that captures listening, understanding, validation, and care.
Vasundhara Sawhney of Harvard Business Review Ascendasked me about some follow-up questions successful candidates ask. Here are 9 of them:
1. What in your opinion are the most important qualities for this job?
This is a great way to engage the employer and get to know more about the job and the specific skills required to do the job. When the recruiter is listing out the qualities, think about some specific tasks or projects you’ve done previously that illustrate those qualities. Then narrate an example to your recruiter to show them how you could be a good fit.
2. What are the key outcomes that I would be expected to deliver in this role?
This question helps you understand the key deliverables of the role. It tells you ahead of time what you should be focused on as you start. You can use this information to be better prepared as you step in to the new assignment.
3. What would my career path look like in this role?
In an era when millennials are considered job hoppers, this question shows that you’re interested in this organization for the long term. The answers to this question will also reveal how you can grow within the organization.
4. If I’m hired, how would you as my manager define my success?
Great question! It goes to show that you’re someone who’s not in it for just the money. You’re actually interested in the job you’re going to do and you want to learn. The recruiter might share some details with you about how performance assessments are conducted at the organization, but also shed some light how he measures success. He would probably talk about the kind of initiative he expects you to take, or ways in which you could contribute outside of your job description.
5. What are some of the challenges that this department is facing right now?
Responses to this question can tell you a lot about the issues the industry is faced with and could be valuable information for another interview. It can also help you talk about where you see your skills fitting in and how you could contribute.
6. What have been the biggest projects this team has worked on recently?
It helps to know the scope of the work, what achievements the team is proud of and what the strategic priorities of the company are.
7. Does my role require me to work with any special software?
In many roles having a savvy understanding of the standard Office products is adequate, but some roles may require you to use software designed specifically for a particular task. By taking an online course (usually free) you can be better prepared to succeed in your role and have an edge over your peers.
8. Who am I going to be working with?
Not only does this question tell you more about the team you’re going to work with, but also lets you go back and do some research on the team (through LinkedIn or other business networking apps), where they come from, their qualifications, and what their career paths look like.
9. Why do you like working here?
This is a question I was recently asked by a candidate and it immediately caught my attention. I realized that this simple question had many benefits. As a potential candidate, it gives you great insights into the organizations’ culture, not as it written on an organization’s website, but from someone who works for it. As a recruiter, when you’re asked to narrate a personal experience, it makes the conversation more engaging.
Always end the conversation by asking what the next steps are. Not only does it tell the recruiter that you’re interested in the role but also gives you information about the timelines they work with for hiring. Asking follow-up questions in an interview will be a great way to influence how the hiring manager perceives you. So, make sure you seem engaged in the conversation, listen actively, and ask questions.