The Best Question To Ask In A Job Interview, If You Want The Job

A job interview can often feel like an inquisition. It’s not easy to talk about yourself in a job interview – but your conversation is the key to your success. You may be wondering, “Is this experience relevant?” Am I rambling? How do I come across…?” as you go through the interview process. But none of these are the best questions to ask yourself or others in your job search. Beyond those mental traps (a fancy way of saying “insecurities”), there’s a better interview question to ask. That’s right, while you’re being asked questions—and providing your answers—think of a proven way that can help you keep your interview process stories short, to the point, and clear. Discover the best interview question and you’re one step closer to your job.

Sometimes interviews are designed as “one-way” interviews – in other words, the interview is actually an interrogation where the company asks the questions and you have the opportunity to verbally showcase your skills and talents. In this case, the interview is not a dialogue, there is no real opportunity for conversation. Many companies use this type of screening interview to further explain your resume. But what every job seeker wants — and needs — is a conversation. Because how can a company make an informed decision without answering questions in the interview? As part of a dialogue, not an interrogation, the candidate (that’s you) has the opportunity to express some curiosity and inquiry in addition to all the experience you’ve had. One has to wonder if companies that use one-way interviews are really interested in listening to their employees – especially if they don’t listen to feedback or questions from a candidate during the interview.

Whatever skills you want to demonstrate in an interview—like your financial acumen, your attention to detail, your ability to lead others, or your concern for the customer experience—remember to think like a lawyer during the interview. This may sound strange, but a lawyer knows that one cannot speak about something that is not in evidence. Adjectives are not proofs. Saying adjectives about yourself is just showing off – or maybe a lack of awareness of how interviewing really works.

The court is in session: talk about your background in the interview

Without the facts of the case, lawyers could misrepresent their clients and be warned (or even penalized!) by the judge. Without evidence, the story sounds made up, inappropriate and unrelated to the case at hand. In other words, if you want to prove something (e.g. the fact that you have an excellent knowledge of ERP systems or that you are familiar with cost accounting procedures), you will get the proof of your skills in the form of a story. Stories back up your claims and provide the kind of evidence that will win you over in an interview.

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Focus on sharing your interview stories: Proving Your Skills

Instead of worrying about how you will appear in the interview, focus on what really matters: tell a short and compelling story that demonstrates your skills and talents. If you think you’re a determined self-starter, what story supports that point of view? What is the proof of your skills presented in a concise story? That way, the interview isn’t just a collection of bold claims or self-love — it’s an evidence-based exploration of stories that show you have the skills you need for the job.

And then: be curious.

Be curious about how you might fit into the organization, assuming the interview goes your way. Isn’t that what job interviews on both sides of the desk are all about? The company wants to know if you are suitable. They want to know if you are fit. So the best question to ask in an interview is the one that indicates what you want: to be the right one for you!

Remember, job hunting is a process — and you don’t have to throw your instincts overboard. Of course, you would never blurt out inappropriate requests, “Just hire me, I’m so desperate!” Oops. It’s like proposing on the second date. Or turn the interview into a hostage situation. How do you think this will end? Probably fast and not the way you want it.

The job interview process is give and take while the job interview is a conversation. Remember that the interview is an opportunity for discovery, and from a perspective of understanding, not despair or uncertainty. Namely, to find out if you are suitable for the role! Instead of deciding in your own head that you’re wrong, that you’re not a good interviewer, or whatever other mental junk is floating around in your head – why not reach out to the person right in front of you and check to see whether you are on the right path? Look, any conversation viewed from the inside out is going to feel like a series of mistakes and messes. That’s why it’s important to get out of your own head during the interview. Focus on service and share your story. Because your conversation might be more impactful than you think!

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Share your curiosity about the next logical step – and you’ll show that you’re clear-headed and focused on the interview process. Isn’t it logical and sensible that you would want to know how your stories and evidence fit into the corporate culture? Wouldn’t you like to know how your background could be of use to your potential employer during an interview?

Don’t wait: ask the question that counts in the interview

Asking how your stories and skills might fit is the most important question you can ask. Alignment is the goal. For example, if asked about your work ethic and commitment, tell a story that shows how you come early and stay late, and provide examples of impact and collaboration. Tell a story that represents your personal connection to the Nike Principle: “Your job is done first.” The Job is done.” Then don’t stop when you’ve expressed a memory in the interview. Stay curious.

“How does this experience fit with your vision for the role?”

This is the question that can make a difference in an interview because it opens the dialogue. It’s an opportunity for the interviewer to consider you and your background in the position. While there’s no guarantee that you’ll get the job, you at least open up the possibility—and you have the opportunity for a deeper discussion.

For example, if you ask the best interview question, “How does this story fit?” or “How does that fit with your goals for this position?” the interviewer might say, “Well, I think so.” I chose this position more experience with SAP software.” Rather than jumping to the conclusion that all hope is lost (because hope is never lost, we just don’t always know where to find it), remember that this answer, like all feedback, it is a gift. Now is your chance to tell more about your accounting background in a story. “I’m glad you brought that up,” you might say in the interview, “because it reminds me of a story I forgot to tell…” A new skill set can be introduced in the form of a story and followed through an edited version of the best interview question: “So does this align with what you’re looking for in this role?”

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