Job descriptions are more often than not written by a human resources, or
talent acquisition, representative. Let’s face it, 99% of the time it’s a laundry
list of responsibilities and requirements. Very rarely does the job description
get inside the hiring manager’s head and outline the true pains, problems, and
priorities this person needs your help to solve.
You must see yourself, and present yourself, as the one who will be able to either help make money, save money, or improve processes. The candidate who can demonstrate the most value and demonstrate how she will help make the hiring manager’s live that much easier is the one who will be standing with an offer in hand at the end of the process.Here are some questions you can ask to help set yourself up as the solution.
What are the two or three critical priorities you’d want me to address right away?
Understanding the answer to this question allows you to demonstrate how you can be the solution by way of you explaining previous experiences you’ve had in tackling similar priorities elsewhere.
Fast forward six months, or even a year from the time you hire this person. How would the (department, or role, etc.) look different for you to have the confidence you hired the right person?
This question will force the interviewer to really think and provide you with a tangible answer. It will help interviewer really cast their vision and therefore allow you to explain how you can help them make this vision a reality.
To help us work together effectively, what should I know about your leadership style?
This question accomplishes at least two things. It allows you to gain perspective as to whether the hiring manager’s leadership style is one that will help you thrive or hinder you from thriving. Secondly, the question, by way of its wording, gives the hiring manager confidence that you are a collaborative leader yourself who wants to deliver on behalf of your supervisor.
Asking the questions above will surely position you as a problem-solver, vs a “what’s in it for me” candidate. The picture of what’s in it for you will naturally begin to unveil itself from the answers to these questions. Trust me, by the time you deliver your value via the interview process you will have plenty of time to ask “what’s in it for me” questions before deciding to accept an offer.