Are your executives and senior managers prepared to answer interview questions?

Interviewing job candidates is one of the many roles your executives and senior managers will play at your organization. Traditionally, this requires them to think of appropriate questions to ask applicants, which will hopefully showcase their knowledge and ability to do the job they are applying for. However, job applicants are increasingly being encouraged to ask questions of those interviewing them. This shows a level of interest and thought that can theoretically put them ahead of their fellow candidates. Of course, your executives and senior managers should encourage questions from applicants, but they must be prepared with their own answers for this process to be effective. 

Entrepreneur James Cann recently took to his LinkedIn profile to talk about this topic in depth. He stressed the importance of allowing applicants to ask questions, and suggested that those who don't probably aren't worth hiring. The article was aimed at job seekers, and implored them to ask these four important questions during any job interview:

  • What are your short, medium, and long-term goals?
  • What's the culture like?
  • What are the opportunities for progression?
  • How will I be measured?

While it's important for applicants to remember to ask these questions, it's equally as important for executives and senior managers conducting the interviews to be prepared with appropriate answers. For example, any employee who asked about the company's long-term goals shows they have an interest in staying with that particular organization for a relatively long time, and it's an opportunity for the interviewer to share their vision.

"This is one which always impresses me because it shows the candidate is interested in the vision of the business," Cann writes. "I have said before that companies don't hire people who are merely looking for a job – they hire people who want to work for them. Ask the interviewer where they see the business heading over the next year, and in particular, what their specific goals are for you and your department. As well as making a great impression on the company, it gives you an idea of what sort of expectations will be placed upon you."

Setting these expectations early and sharing long-term goals will allow executives and senior managers to get the most out of the individuals they ultimately hire. Those who aren't able to provide good answers to these questions might not find the right people during the hiring process. 

This starts, of course, with finding the executives and senior managers who can adequately fulfill their duties during the interview process. Working with an executive search firm will help.