Hackpack Blog

Soft Skills

How to ask your interviewer questions that make you stand out

If you don't normally prepare questions for your interviewer, read this guide

Takeaway: Don’t ask lazy questions, always prepare questions for your interviews.

Asking your interviewer questions at the end of the interview is a great way to leave them with a memorable impression of who you are. Most people waste this opportunity by asking basic, uninteresting questions. When you are trying to get a job at a competitive workplace you need to stand out as much as possible.

I can’t tell you how many interviews I’ve conducted at Facebook where the question portion interview goes like this:

Interviewer(Me): “We are almost out of time, do you have any questions for me?”
Interviewee: “How do you like working at FB?”
Interviewer(Me): «Regurgitates the same response I’ve given during 5 other interviews that week about how the money, food, and culture are great.»

How to ask good questions

Luckily there is a simple formula for asking great questions that leave your interviewer with a positive view of who you are. It requires a little preparation before the interview, but it’s 100% worth it.

  1. Humanize - Introduce some humanizing quality about yourself (Be careful not to sound braggy here!)
  2. Connect - Connect your humanizing quality to the company
  3. Ask - Ask a relevant question that forces the interviewer to think

Example:

  1. Humanize - I love working on projects that help combat climate change.
  2. Connect - I know Google has committed to be “24-7 carbon-free” as a company
  3. Ask - Have you been a part of, or seen any, initiatives at Google that have had a positive impact on the planet?

Follow this simple formula and your interviewer will walk away with a lasting impression of who you are. Don’t ask lazy questions.

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