It’s a little surprising when I talk with candidates before their interviews who are incredibly nervous about the questions they’ll be answering on their big day. I get that- prudent candidates need to be prepared for an interview and should never try to ‘wing it’. Nope.
Just remember that interviews are a two-way street. As a candidate in the hottest segment of the technology marketplace you’ve got to have some well thought-out questions, too. Why even bother showing up to an interview if – when the time is right – you don’t have a list of really smart questions to ask? You’ll have time to complete you own due diligence – and you owe yourself that much. I always recommend that candidates formulate 5 or 6 well-crafted questions to convey their interest, knowledge and intelligence to the interviewer. When “So, do you have any questions for me?” comes up (usually at the end of the interview), a resounding NO from the candidate could mean game over.
When it’s your turn to be the interviewer, I suggest beginning a dialogue by asking open-ended questions- inquire about products, services, deployment models, strategy, vision, development, customer expectations – whatever you think you’ll need to know to feel good about taking the job (should an offer present itself). Just stay away from money questions. It’s the last item that should be covered – and only if the interviewer brings it up.
By being prepared and asking a few intelligent questions about the job you’re interviewing for, you can stand out from the pack and give the interviewer a glimpse of the way you process information – great for you if your questions are deliberate and well thought out… or not so good if you’re not prepared!