This ONE Tactic Landed My Dream Job

Photo: Daniel Mccullough via Unsplash

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The end of the school year is fast approaching. I’ve already gone through a round of interviews with no success. With a resume identical to people landing jobs, it was impossible not to become discouraged. But there was a light at the end of the tunnel… I had ONE good interview among a sea of failures.

What was it that made this interview a glimmer of hope? A CONVERSATION. But not just any conversation, it was a GOOD conversation that was engaging and involved both parties. This conversation was brought on by asking engaging, interesting questions that the interviewer actually cared about. Simple as that!

Think about it, you are interviewing with someone who has worked in this field for awhile before becoming a hiring manager. You have somewhat of an expert in your desired field right in front of you. Are you going to ask this expert, who (hopefully) is passionate about their work, what the benefits package is?! No! These questions can be answered by anyone in HR or even a first year employee.

So here it is: ditch the boring questions that anybody else could answer for you. Ask yourself why you are interested in this job? What interests other people to pursue this line of work? Are there any current events/topics that are driving discussion in this field? What does the future of this field look like? I bet that your interviewer will have much more to say about these ideas than answering (for the tenth time) what their day-to-day is like.

Questions to ask Human Resources or another employee:

  • What are the benefits for this job?
  • What is the day-to-day schedule like?
  • What is the typical compensation structure?
  • What is the office dynamic like?
  • What is a typical project like?

Some Better Questions to ask you interviewer:

  • I’ve been following current event/topic in the news that relates to your field, what are your thoughts on this? (Be mindful of more sensitive or political topics)
  • Many are saying common assumption/misconception about related field, do you agree with this?
  • What are some things you see coming in the next five year in your field and what are some things you see happening 20 years from now?

Why asking engaging/thought provoking questions will help you stand out:

  • Asking questions like this will often excite and engage you interviewer which will make your overall interview much more memorable
  • The Q+A is the last portion of every interview, a series of dull questions will force to remember details from your resume or possibly not remember you at all.
  • These questions will be more likely to start a back and forth dialogue, which will help make the interview more comfortable as well as pass the time. No one wants to be anxiously staring down the clock in an interview!
  • Added Bonus: You, can use this to gather expert info and insights on an area that you are interested in as well.

Armed with this new set of thought-provoking questions, I set out to ace my next interviews. What happened you ask? I landed every job! Not because I had the best resume, or because I knew exactly what line of python code to use. It was because I ended every interview with a great conversation that left me excited and likely left the interviewer with a good impression.