While catching up my on reading this past weekend, I found a good article in the June issue of Inc. magazine, Never Read Another Resume. Written from the hiring authority's perspective, the author (Jason Fried, a small business co-owner) offered some sage advice that job seekers need to heed. What really caught my eye dealt with job interview questions, specifically those from the candidate.
Mr. Fried said that "red flags" go up when candidates ask "how" questions, such as, "How do I do that?" or "How can I find out this or that?" He said, "A 'how' asker is not used to figuring things out for himself/herself. 'How' is a sign that this person is going to be a drain on others. Avoid (hiring) 'hows.'" Wow! What honesty!
Instead, Mr. Fried wants to hear "why" questions. "'Why' is good - it's a sign of deep interest in a subject. It signals a healthy dose of curiosity." As a career coach, I might add that "why" also shows that a candidate is thinking in terms of problem solving, an ability every company is looking for in their hiring mix these days.
Actually, all this makes a lot sense. If a candidate does due diligence in his/her pre-interview research, there shouldn't be too many "how" questions left unanswered by the time of the interview. On the other hand, by assembling a list of "why" questions the candidate can demonstrate that he/she is already thinking like a team member before he shows up for the interview.
So, as a job seeker, your challenge becomes: do you want to appear to be on the "outside" (a "how" asker) or already in the "inside" (a "why" asker) of the company where you next interview? The choice is yours - prepare wisely for your next job interview.
Wishing you career success in 2010!