It’s probably cliché, but I end every sales interview I conduct with the standard “Do you have any questions for me?”
I assume the people I interview are expecting this question. Some of the time, candidates will read to me from a list of prepared questions they believe are the good questions to ask a prospective employer. For those who choose that path, I answer in a matter of fact tone as I have hundreds of times knowing that the person is not really listening, but instead wondering what I thought about their questions.
Do these people get hired? Sometimes, but not often.
What absolutely flabbergasts me, though, is the seemingly growing number of candidates who present me with something worse:
“No, I think we’ve covered everything.”
Do these people get hired? Never.
The answer is simple: If you’re interviewing for a role where you’ll spend the majority of your day asking questions, it would probably be a good idea to showcase that skill during the interview for said role.
Use the interview process to demonstrate your “infinite curiosity”
The best sales person I ever worked with once told me that success in sales is based on nothing but “infinite curiosity.” You need to be genuinely interested in other people, their processes and their problems. You need to know they have a headache before you go on and on about how good your aspirin might be.
So how do you be “infinitely curious?” You
ask questions. You ask a lot of
questions. You start with one and based on the answer you receive, you
formulate another one that makes sense and continues the conversation. Then,
you keep asking questions until you understand your prospect’s daily life
almost as well as they do.
Then, and only then, do you present a solution to any problems they may be experiencing.
This same approach can and should be used in the job interview process. While we may have talked for 30 – 60 minutes during the interview, it’s simply not possible to cover everything you need to know about the role, the organization, the culture, etc. to make a decision that will permanently affect your life, your income, and your future.
If you’re not curious enough to ask me questions about something that will impact your life so significantly, how could I ever trust that you’re going to be curious enough to ask questions about things that impact potential customers?
Surely there must be something, just one little thing, that you want to know about me, the company, the role. So ask me. Then listen. Then ask me something else. Then repeat.
Do the people who demonstrate infinite curiosity during the interview process get hired? Almost always.