The questions candidates are told to ask hiring manager during interviewees cut across these generic topics:
- Culture Fit
- Technical Expertise
- Challenges Facing the Role
- Expectations for Success
- What Happened to the Last Person in the Position
- How long has the position been open
- What is Stopping Them from Making You an Offer
The truth is the hiring manager cannot answer these questions directly. Why? They are trained to deflect or defer answers by legal and HR. They do this to protecting the company from potential lawsuits and to protect the privacy of the previous employee.
Because they are prepared, candidates can better differentiate themselves (and perhaps gain more useful insights about there potential future boss) using questions designed to show a professional interest in the hiring manager's back-story instead.
This line of questioning would be considered a social normal during a conference or association lunch. Questions about how the hiring manager arrived at the company and or their current position is a natural progression with either:
- A future work-relationship (boss, peer, team-member)
- A future business related networking contact (non-hire)
Think about it - either way, smart-business people play the short-game and long-game.
- The short-game would be the interview and landing an offer
- The long-game would be networking with a potential bosses or co-workers in the future
Candidates should take advantage of this social construct to extend the relationship beyond the interview - regardless of outcome.
How? These types of professional interest questions presume a work relationship is going to happen:
- Either through a job offer
- Post-interview business-contact
This meta-message stands-apart from the traditional self-serving questions designed to verify facts to serve the candidate and place the hiring manager on the spot. This approach also avoids the awkward and useless connection building with family, sports team and other empty chit-chat.
And, it is a lost social grace to demonstrate work-related interest in a future boss or business contact.
More to come...
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