John Kador - Interview

Interview with John Kador Author of the book "201 Best Questions to Ask on Your Interview"

1. Most people think of an interview as being asked questions and then answering questions. Your book is all about questioning at an interview. Can you explain a little bit?

Interviews are about establishing aptitude and fit. It's as important for the candidate to feel good about the fit as the interviewer. Good questions allow the candidate to not only demonstrate aptitude but also to help determine if the match would be good for both parties. When the candidate comes off as selective as the interviewer, both sides benefit.

2. What does doing your homework have to do with a successful job interview?

Many candidates squander an opportunity to demonstrate their excellence by asking questions that a visit to the company's web site would answer (e.g., ?How many employees do you have?) There is nothing inherently wrong with the question, but asking it displays laziness. It's much better to use the opportunity to ask something that really advances your candidacy (e.g., ?What are some of the ways the company promotes collaboration across workgroups??)

3. Can you share one gold nugget of information as to where to find information?

Most companies have a web site. Start there. If you want extra credit, go to the library and look up the company on a database such as Lexis. Find something interesting but non-controversial and craft a question around that.

4. You mention taking notes at an interview. Wouldn't that interrupt the communication process to a degree?

Not if you do it right. First, always ask permission to take notes. Practice how to take notes without losing eye contact for more than moment. The idea is serious people take notes for serious meetings. A job interview is a serious meeting.

5. Some people have said that the more you get the interviewer to talk, the better it is. Is that true?

Depends what your goal is. If your only goal is to get an offer, it's true. The more the interviewer talks, the more he or she concludes that the candidate agrees with them. Most people like to hire people like themselves. But if your goal is to determine if this particular job is really best for you, a real conversation is required.

6. Humor us and tell us one 'dumb' interview question you would never want to ask.

One good rule is never to mention the word 'lunch' in a question.

7. Do questions function as a way to show the interviewer that the job seeker is paying close attention?

Absolutely. For example, some interviewers ask the question, ?On what occasions are you tempted to lie?? Candidates need to really listen to the question. The question is not on what occasions do you lie, but on what occasions are you tempted to lie. It's appropriate, then, to answer with something like, ?Oh, I suppose I'm sometimes tempted to lie when I'm caught making a mistake. But I've learned it's always best to face my mistakes squarely and honestly and that's what I do.?

8. When asking about your predecessor and why he/she left, can that backfire?

What's the purpose for asking that question? If your predecessor was promoted, the interviewer will generally volunteer the information.

9. Besides asking, are there indications, i.e. body language, that would indicate that the interviewer is in your corner?

Asking is really the best. Anything else is guessing. Ask for the objection, (e.g., ?Do you have any hesitations about my qualifications?) Let them tell you. If they do, you have a shot at answering the reservation. An unstated objection is usually the end of an interview.

10. Is there anything else that you would want the readers of this website to know?

Figure out what the company's pain is. Ask yourself, ?Why is this company going through all the cost and effort of interviewing people?? It's because the organization is experiencing pain. It has a problem. Customers are complaining because a job is not being done. Employees are complaining because they are overworked. Opportunities are being missed; profits are being lost. Now, think of yourself as a solution to their problem. If you can demonstrate that you are the solution who will make their problem go away, then they will be inclined to hire you. Companies pay for solutions. Be that solution.