An interview can be both exciting and stressful, and your level of preparation ahead of a meeting can make or break your chances at the role, regardless of your skillset. The types of questions you ask during an interview can say so much about your personality and your genuine interest in the company you are hoping to join.
We have observed that qualified consultants with rich backgrounds did not always advance in the interview process because they didn’t ask the right questions or simply did not ask any questions at all. Those clients were looking for more than just skill, they were looking for the whole package.
Preparation is important.
Do your research on the firm. If you haven’t heard of the client, ask your network! Reference a recent news article about the company and incorporate it into a closing question in your interview. Are they going through some changes? What are some upcoming initiatives that they will be implementing? The company’s changes may or may not affect your position within the organization.
- “I understand you are going through some mergers and acquisitions, how is the merger going? On what ERP system does the company you’re merging with run?”
- “I read on your website that your firm invested $X, will that have an impact on this department?”
Do your research on your interviewers. Ask your recruiter for their profiles. We equip consultants with as much information as possible on who they will be interviewing with as to creates the opportunity for transparency. Don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer what their role is in the company. They may have several responsibilities outside of their title and this may give you insight into the company structure.
Clients are human and there are various interview approaches and styles. Some may be more direct about who they are and what they’re looking for. Others may give you the spotlight and say very little. Always ask questions of the interviewer regardless of the amount of information you already have.
While the answer to “do you have any questions?” may seem like a minor part of the interview, it is the last impression that you will leave the interviewer. This is an opportunity to conclude the interview on a memorable note.