We are often asked by clients what questions they should ask in job interviews. Not surprisingly, there are also a number of books on the market that address the topic. For a good foundation in interview questions generally, try 101 Great Answers to the Toughest Interview Questions by Ron Fry. If you’re targeting finance or want some more advanced interview guidance for both qual. and quant. focused roles, see Heard on the Street by Timothy Falcon Crack.
The killer interview question we recommend to clients who are meeting key decision makers is: if I start this job tomorrow and am successful in it, what will I have achieved in a year’s time? The question may need tweaking depending on the specific circumstances. But, if you manage to land it well, it will communicate some powerful messages to the interviewer. It tells them that you are serious about delivering results, and that you care about the results they want. It also places them in a psychological mindset where they are associating their desired outcomes with having you on the team.
How the interviewer answers your question can provide you with valuable information too. You might learn about additional key performance indicators for the role, which may not be specified in the hiring process. (In some cases, people may not even be aware of crucial KPIs until they miss out on promotion a year later.) What the interviewer includes or omits in response to your question is also telling. It can give you insight into who you’ll be working with, as well as the organisation’s culture and most important strategic objectives, inter alia.
For some ninja-worthy interview moves, we recommend using their answer to the killer interview question to tailor your future answers. Clearly, the more you can relate your proven skills and previous experience to the outcomes they want, the better.