Best interview questions to ask when you don't have time to research the company
Congratulations! The good news is you just got the interview... the bad news is, it’s tomorrow! Although it is always best to take the time to research the company and know as much as possible going into the interview, sometimes you just can’t make it happen. So how do go into an interview with thoughtful, relevant questions when you haven't had time to prepare?
All is not lost. You can always pull out some good questions that you already have on hand, ready to go in just such a situation. They work in almost any setting and will still project a thoughtful interest in the company, as well as the position you’re interviewing for.
In addition to questions, it’s also a good idea to have ready a few of “stories” you can tell that demonstrate your skills, leadership, teamwork, etc.
8 QUESTIONS TO HAVE ON HAND
Keep in mind that you want to ask open-ended questions that are still focused. There’s no point in “stumping” the interviewer with an overly broad, generic question that’s difficult to answer. You want to build rapport by asking excellent, insightful questions that ultimately highlight your qualifications, demonstrate your confidence and reinforce your commitment to your career. This is a chance to show how you can help the company meet the challenges they face.
1. What are your expectations for this role in the first 60 days in this job?
Find out what up-front accomplishments are expected for this role so you’ll know if this is fits your current skill set.
2. What does this company value most in an employee?
This will help you determine if you’re comfortable with the values of the company and can see yourself working there.
3. How do you define and measure success in this position?
This will give you insight into the specific skills required and the timeframe in which they expect to see some results.
4. What do you like most about working here?
Get an insider’s view of what the company culture is and whether employees get along and feel valued.
5. Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?
This is a chance to learn details about the role and see if this is a job you really want to do.
6. What is the typical career path for someone in this position?
You’ll learn if they typically promote from within and it shows your interest in growing with the company.
7. Where is this company headed in the next five years?
You want to be sure the company is moving forward and growing if you plan to be in this position for a number of years.
8. What are the next steps in the interview/hiring process?
This shows you are eager to move on and will give you the timeline for hiring. Be sure to follow up and let the interviewer know when you’ll be calling.
Now that you have some questions to use at a moment’s notice, make sure you polish them and make them your own. These are strong questions that probe for insight and information that you’ll need to rise above the competition.
STORIES YOU SHOULD TELL
Stories are a great way to demonstrate how you applied a particular skill, showed evidence of great teamwork or strong leadership in a real world scenario. It doesn’t have to be about the hospitality industry specifically in order to showcase your strengths.
If you know they’re looking for a problem solver, share a story that shows your skill in this area. Did you resolve a conflict? Did you find a last-minute solution to a difficult situation?
Maybe you have a story that shows how you overcame a difficult challenge. Did you find a way to work with a particularly demanding boss or maybe you worked 2 jobs to pay for your last semester of school? It shows that you don’t back down and are creative in working through difficulties.
Show your ability to work in a team setting. Explain how you were an integral part of a large project, either on the job or even, for example, if you volunteered at a local non-profit or helped wtih an event.
If they’re looking for a strong leader, talk about when you successfully took charge of a situation and saw positive results. Did you lead a group of scouts in a fund-raising campaign or direct a company-wide push to improve communication between departments?
Of course it’s always best to do your homework and be fully prepared for your interview, but sometimes an opportunity appears unexpectedly and you have to be able to improvise. Have a couple of stories ready that show real-life examples of your leadership, teamwork, problem-solving, etc. Polish and practice the questions, perfect your stories and you’ll be ready to go when opportunity knocks.