MBA Interviews | Your Questions for the Interviewer
Reflecting your values (image: kaylovesvintage)
by: Grayson Leverenz
After you’ve cruised through the resume walk, aced the mind benders, mastered the behaviorals and owned the case questions, the Recruiter will ask, “Now what questions do you have for me?” This simple transition of power, from you as the interviewee to you as the interviewer, offers a true win/win scenario. You gain the opportunity to learn more about the company and the position while demonstrating your ability to lead a conversation; at the same time, the Recruiter learns more about what drives you as a candidate and how you handle yourself when you’re in control.
Recruiters appreciate questions that illustrate understanding of the industry and company as you seek to deepen your knowledge using the techniques below.
1. Ask questions that reflect your values.
My Success Coach, Daniel Olson, and I often discuss the importance of identifying personal values as well as a potential employer’s values. If values align, there is a greater chance of compatibility and a higher likelihood of job satisfaction.
I found a great exercise at QuintCareers.com to help identify your workplace values. After you’ve identified your values, refer back to your research on the company’s values, and craft questions around areas that appear to intersect as well as areas that appear opposed. Be very careful with questions on oppositional areas. You want to get the information, but you also want to get the offer. With that in mind, approach those questions delicately.
Let’s look at an example using the QuintCareers assessment combined with the Company Values we identified earlier in the MBA Interviews series.
Flexibility in work structure
Using creativity, imagination, being innovative
Clear advancement tracks, opportunities for advancement
Commitment to innovation
Question – potential area of alignment (Using creativity, imagination, being innovative & Commitment to innovation)
One of the things I’m most excited about in a job is the ability to be creative in bringing innovative new products to market, and I know Best Company Ever really excels in this area. Would you please tell me about the most innovative project you’ve worked on during your time here?
Question – potential area of opposition (Flexibility in work structure & Teamwork)
I’ve been reading a lot lately about virtual teams in the industry, and would love to hear more about how Best Company Ever is incorporating workplace flexibility into your team structure.
2. Ask questions about things that excite you.
Recruiters look for enthusiastic candidates, and there is no better way to demonstrate your interest in a position than to ask questions about subjects that excite you.
One of the things that impressed me the most about the company I ended up working for after graduation was the company’s commitment to sustainable business practices. When I interviewed with them, I shared my excitement about sustainability, and asked them to tell me more about the subject from their point of view. I learned about solar panels, recycling programs and transportation initiatives; it was fascinating! The stories helped me connect with the Interviewers and confirm this was the place I wanted to work.
3. Wait to ask questions about salaries and benefits.
I’m guessing this piece of advice translates across most cultures, but I wanted to point it out just in case. During the interview phase of your US job search, it is best to ask Recruiters questions about the company and the position. Discovering details about salary and benefits comes with the offer.