By Marian Li, Toppel Peer Advisor
 
Be honest. In the rare occasions that as students, we get to play the role of the professional/employer, do you ever feel that the part of the job interview where you ask the candidate, “Do you have any questions for me?” is almost always a waste of time? As the interviewer, it’s easy to tell that most candidates don’t actually care about your answers; they just hope to make themselves look good by asking “smart” questions. To interviewees, what they ask is more important than the actual answer to their so-called “smart” questions. Great candidates ask questions they want answered because they’re evaluating you, your company/organization – and whether they really want to work with you.
1. What do you expect me to accomplish in the first 60 to 90 days?
Great candidates want to hit the ground running. They don’t want to spend weeks or months “getting to know the organization.” They want to make a difference, right away.
2. What are the common attributes of your top performers?
Great candidates want to be great long-term employees. Every organization is different, and so are the key qualities of top performers in those organizations. Maybe your top performers work longer hours. Maybe creativity is more important than methodology. Maybe constantly landing new customers in new markets is more important than building long-term customer relationships. Great candidates want to know, because 1) they want to know if they fit, and 2) if they do fit, they want to be a top performer.
3. What are a few things that really drive results for the company?
In every job, some activities make a bigger difference than others. Although you have positions available, you want to find the right candidates, because that results in higher retention rates, lower training costs, and better overall productivity. Great candidates want to know what truly makes a difference. They know helping the company succeed means they succeed as well.
4. How do you plan to deal with…?
Every business/organization faces a major challenge: technological changes, competitors entering the market, shifting economic trends. So while some candidates may see your company as a stepping stone, they still hope for growth and advancement; if they do eventually leave, they want it to be on their terms and not because you were forced out of business. Great candidates don’t just want to know what you think; they want to know what you plan to do, and how they will fit into those plans.