Looking at things from an employer’s standpoint, here are some questions they will want you to answer; but won’t ask you directly. During your interview they will ask you many questions in order to get to know you. The questions will address who you are, what motivates you, and where you are headed in your career, but the discussion will actually revolve around 5 specific questions that they will never ask you directly! The 5 most important questions they want to have answered are:
- Can you do the job?
- Will you fit in with the rest of the team?
- Will you increase the company’s earnings?
- Will you help grow the company?
- Will you require much hand-holding?
Most employers don’t want to waste their time (or yours) with pointless questions like “if you were an animal, what animal would you be, and why?” While this question could generate some interesting discussion, they are much more interested in addressing the 5 critical questions above.
- Can you do the job? – They want to know what your specific qualifications are relating to the position for which you are interviewing. This will include areas such as formal education and training, licenses and certifications, security clearance, prior job experience and references. Likely question: Explain to me how your background makes you qualified for the position.
- Will you fit in with the rest of the team? – They have built a great team and want to add to the team in a positive and constructive way. They do not want to bring someone on-board that will cause friction or otherwise disrupt the organization. Likely question: Tell me how you are a team player, with integrity, and not just out for yourself.
- Will you increase the company’s earnings? – Companies are in business ultimately to make money. Even non-profits and government agencies have a funding motive. All organizations require funding to survive. Likely question: Tell me how you will help the organization make (or save) money.
- Will you help grow the company? – While earnings or funding is a short-term goal of the organization, growth is always a critical long-term issue for any organization. They will want to know if you will be able to fit into the company’s future growth plan, and whether or not you will be able to continuously learn and grow with the organization. Likely question: Tell me about your ability to learn and grow, and your willingness to take on additional responsibilities.
- Will you require much hand-holding? – All new employees require a certain amount of support and assistance during their orientation period. They will want to know whether or not you will be able to take basic guidance and carry out tasks with little, or no, additional support. They are looking for people who are self-starters and are able to figure things out on their own. I once had a boss who told all his employees, “don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions”. Likely question: Tell me how you are willing and able to get the job done even under challenging conditions.
So……….if, during the course of your interview, you can effectively answer the 5 questions that they won’t be asking you directly, they will most likely hire you!