It sucks to be unemployed, underemployed or misemployed at your sales job. I've been each at one point or another in my career and I have made a promises to myself to learn from those experiences. One of the most important things that I promised myself was that I would not be interviewed for a job. I would answer questions, take tests, and have conversations, but be interviewed as a one-way activity? Nope.
I became someone who interviewed a company to determine if that company was right to have me join. Take a deep breath. You have to gather some courage to take the more assertive position of the interviewer in the process. We all know that it is easier to get a job when you already have one, but do you know why? It's because you are the prize. You come into the conversations with the clear option to stay doing what you are already doing rather than joining the company. Your attitude and energy are completely different - you are assessing whether the opportunity is worth leaving the job you currently have. This shows up in many ways, but one of the clearest ways is that you ask as many questions, if not more, than you answer.
Here are 5 questions that you can add to your list. They will change the tempo and direction of the interview in your favor, as well as gain you critical information that you need.
1. "In 90 days, how will we know unquestionably that we both made the right decision in you hiring me and me taking this job?"
2. "What are the top 3 characteristics of your superstars at this company?"
3. "What are the 2 to 3 things that people who struggle to be successful here have had in common?"
4. "What changes in the company or department created this opportunity?"
5. "What are the biggest initiatives for the company in the next 6-12 months and how does this job contribute to those initiatives?"
These questions are all focused on the company, its culture and the outcomes that the job for which you are interviewing will produce. This accomplishes some nice secondary goals:
1. Impress the interviewer -- When you move the conversation in an interview to a higher level, it compliments the interviewer and changes his or her perception of you.
2. Focus on specifics -- The language of these questions is stronger because of the specificity. By making your questions tighter, you increase clarity and the quality of the response.
3. Get the true lay of the land -- You will notice that the questions give you a picture of the company and responsibility as it is, not as the public relations may have painted it. Good or bad, you want to have a clear picture and these kinds of questions will give you it.
When you position yourself as the prize, you become the buyer. You are clearer in your mind, stronger in your answers, better positioned to win an opportunity that you desire. Set your attitude to be the buyer and you become a savvy shopper with strong questions.