An employer who can set clear expectations is the best kind of employer to have. You want to work for a company that can give you direction. When you have goals to work towards, you will be able to measure your success better and become a high performer. Ask the interviewer about specific goals and targets. Avoid accepting a general answer. If an employer is unable to tell you precisely what their objectives are, this is a big red flag because they are likely just trying to find a warm body to put in a seat. This behavior is an indicator that you would not be joining a team of high performers. Try to get examples of specific numbers, actions, and rewards they use in the workplace. This example could include your daily targets, examples of fun contests they may have in the office, and other ways they measure success and recognize accomplishments.
Most job descriptions have a long list of responsibilities, must-haves, and nice-to-haves. When you ask the interviewer a question such as this one, you are asking them to narrow down what the most important function is in this role. Once the interviewer gives you the reply, you will better be able to target your answers to that one critical function, or need. For instance, if you are applying to a marketing director position and the interviewer tells you that the most vital purpose in the role is to ensure that all projects move along at a smooth pace, then you know that project management is the most critical part. You can continue your interview focusing on your project management experience, or even your PM education. Also, you now have a solid idea of what you will be spending the bulk of your time on if hired.
For you to perform at your peak during your interviews, it's best if you know what to expect when it comes to the interview process. Knowing what is happening next, will help you to assess the preparation and research you will need to succeed in these meetings. The interviewer should be able to give you an overview of who you will be meeting with, along with the estimated timeline between each of these interviews. Some organizations will have just one meeting, and some may have as many as 5+ interviews with different team members. This situation will all depend on the level of position for which you are interviewing. If the process seems far too drawn out to fit in within your ideal timeline, you can say something like this: "Thank you for explaining the interview process to me. By my calculations, we would be in the final stages of interviewing in the next six weeks. I am seeking a role as soon as possible, so if I can accommodate dates closer together, I am happy to give you the flexibility you need to make that happen."
"Thank you for explaining the interview process to me. By my calculations, we would be in the final stages of interviewing in the next six weeks. I am seeking a role as soon as possible, so if I can accommodate dates closer together, I am happy to give you the flexibility you need to make that happen."
When you ask the interviewer a question like this, you are removing some of their opportunity to reject you for reasons that may not be clear or even accurate. As a candidate, it is easy to unintentionally breeze over parts of your background and work history that may be more important than you thought. The interviewer, if they are unclear on parts of your background, will then have the chance to back up and ask you for further clarification. You should ask this question in every single interview as it is incredibly useful!
Any time you are asking a question this targeted, there will be a risk of hearing something that you don't want to hear. Be sure that you are prepared to accept feedback on your application, your qualifications, or even your interviewing skills. By asking this question, you are asking the interviewer to identify where your application is weak so that you have the opportunity to correct your reply or give a more precise answer on that particular subject. Be sure to thank the interviewer for their feedback and then take some time to overcome their objection. For instance, if the interviewer says they feel that your Excel skills are not strong enough, you could say: "Thank you for that feedback. I am perhaps more humble in regards to my Excel skills than I should have been. I am currently ranked as an Intermediate user but will be enrolling in a three-week online program immediately to raise my skills to be Expert level."
"Thank you for that feedback. I am perhaps more humble in regards to my Excel skills than I should have been. I am currently ranked as an Intermediate user but will be enrolling in a three-week online program immediately to raise my skills to be Expert level."
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