The Question Is

Whether it is a job interview, a performance management conversation, a new project assignment, or any other important meeting, the questions you ask matter. They point you toward valuable information and make a quality impression, or they limit your understanding and show you to be shallow.

(In fact, when I interview people I place equal weight on the quality of the questions they ask me vs. the quality of their answers to my questions.)

So what questions should you ask?

Here are a few of my favorites that can be adapted to most big conversations.

  1. What are the company’s big strategic goals?
  2. What are your (hiring manager, your manager, etc.) big strategic goals and how are you being measured?
  3. How does my role/this project support those goals?
  4. What would you have to see happen in 3, 6, 12 months for you to consider my work to be a success?
  5. How do you see any/all of these goals shifting during this year and in years to come?

2 responses to “The Question Is

  1. Well Noah, I’d assume being in pharmaceutical sales for instance and acing on all of those dynamical questions would feel very powerful and growth promoting. But again I feel blessed to be in the profession of education where I feel I am playing the role of a role model to my students who I haven’t met yet. Just by the content of my emails, I can feel my students looking forward to meeting me which they indicate in their emails. First I give them reassurance about me being their clinical supervisor followed by acknowledging the anxiety provoking states they had to go thru in awaiting their clinical site. Then I tell them to email me back their strength so far in clinical as a nursing student. I instruct them to list five from the given list of objectives. Copy and email them to me followed by seven objectives which they wish to improve on. Copy and email them to me. I avoided using the word weakness because that entails me putting them down plus it shows my communication skill to my students. I tell them that I and you will use those during the clinical to make you get the most out of this last clinical prior to graduation. Then I conclude by saying that it’s always good to have direction but especially in clinical. I can tell that they would have much respect for me.


  2. Then Noah, I know my students had been very anxiously awaiting where and when we will meet at the hospital. Had my second share day with a nurse on the unit today and remind you, I’m compulsive as far as being organized in terms of executing plans. I just emailed them schedule for the day. Meet at the lobby 7am sharp. Then:

    Icebreaker session followed by Course overview
    Unit orientation followed by Computer documentation training
    Scavenger hunt followed by Patient assignment

    I inform my students in order to excel in this class, you have to be on top of your organizational, critical thinking and prioritizing skills. Lastly I tell them I’m looking forward to meeting them next week. I guess this kind of speaks to why I tend to ace on all of my interviews?
    Thanks for letting me share this. I find people just have to find the right field for them and then go about accelerating if your passion is there.


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