|Are you searching for your next role or know someone who is? There are four main questions being asked by people looking for their next opportunity. Without realizing it, they’re asking the wrong questions. Here are those four questions, the better ones to ask, and their answers.
Most Asked Question: Where can I find the best job opportunities?
A Better Question: How can I find the best companies to work for?
Answer: It’s important to remember that almost everyone has access to jobs posted online. While it’s okay to apply for these widely publicized job openings, you’re still competing with a huge crowd, and that lowers your chances for getting the position or even an interview.
Many of the best jobs can’t be found online or in print ads. In order to find truly great jobs, look for great organizations instead.
Find companies and leaders you believe are doing meaningful, and possibly even heroic work. To do this, search the Internet for press releases announcing how these companies are giving back to the community or embarking on other philanthropic quests. Chances are, if they care enough to give back, they’re also striving to take good care of their employees.
Most Asked Question: What’s the most important thing I should do during a job interview?
A Better Question: What’s the biggest dealbreaker during a job interview?
Answer: People always want to know what they should do to stand out during interviews. In this case, it’s what you shouldn’t do that’s most important. Simply put, don’t blab. Nothing turns off an interviewer more than a job candidate who loves the sound of his own voice.
Make it your practice to “say little, and ask a lot.” Asking great questions demonstrates your professionalism and intellect. And when it’s your turn to answer questions, follow the KISS principle—Keep It Short and Simple. This shows your ability to communicate succinctly and effectively.
Most Asked Question: What questions should I ask in an interview?
A Better Question: How can I fully engage during an interview?
Answer: Questions help you turn a potentially one-sided interview into a dialogue. When an interview feels like a conversation, you’ll be able to connect more with the leader, present your authentic self, and get rid of any jitters you may be feeling.
As the interview begins, without interrupting or being intrusive, ask the following question: “As we begin this interview, I’d love to know what objectives you have for our meeting.” This question demonstrates that you understand mutuality—a belief that both of you can and should benefit from your time together.
It’s also a good idea to take the responses of the hiring manager, and turn those into questions. For example, if she says, “Our top employees in this role aren’t afraid to take risks,” you could respond with “How has their willingness to take risks contributed to their success?” This question shows that you’re listening and allows you to have a more meaningful dialogue.
Most Asked Question: How can I impress an interviewer?
A Better Question: How can I best display my skills in an interview?
Answer: Remember, talk is cheap and seeing is believing. When an interviewer asks you a question about your skills, consider showing instead of telling. Experiential interviews—where candidates display their job skills—are rapidly replacing the old conventional interview template.
Here’s how to show your skills in an interview: If, for example, you’re interviewing for a sales role and the interviewer says, “Tell me how you go about selling to a prospective customer,” take this opportunity to show instead of tell. Suggest that you demonstrate a sales conversation, in which the interviewer plays the role of the prospective customer. This strategy provides an accurate reflection of your talent.
Finding a job you love comes down to tracking down the best organizations and then making lasting impressions during your interviews. Once you’ve updated the way you look at the whole process, you’ll be able to pursue the positions you really care about, and present yourself more accurately as the driven and capable employee you really are.