How to Ace a Job Interview by Asking Smart Questions

Alon Shwartz, CTO and Co-Founder of Docstoc ( outlines some good strategies for asking questions in order to have a successful job interview. It is important to keep in mind things you and do to be successful as well as ways you can impact business.

  1. Questions reflect how prepared & informed you are
  2. Do research in advance to avoid asking obvious questions
  3. Ask questions that will trigger "Hmmm...good question."
  4. PRO TIP: "What are the 3 most important things I can do to be successful?"
  5. PRO TIP: "What are the top 3 business initiatives I can impact through my role?"

So a lot of people don’t understand that they need to ask questions during an interview. They believe that their main responsibility in job of course is to answer the question which is true. You have obviously to answer the question if someone asks you, but you also have to ask smart intelligent questions. And if you don’t, it simply shows that you either don’t understand what the role is about, what the company is about or you simply don’t care enough to think of things that were not obvious.

So you can’t ask the obvious questions or simple questions or simply a Google search way. These things like how do you make money or what is you business model or what is your competition. When someone asks me these questions, I say, “You tell me. It’s a Google search way.”

It simply tells me that the person was not prepared.

What do you need to ask are questions that will trigger the, “Good question.”

When someone is doing this and look up to the ceiling, you know that you triggered something in their mind and you’re not just another interviewer that ask simple questions.

So you can ask something like, what are the 3 most important things I need to do to be successful in this role? That is almost guaranteed to be, “That is a good question.”

And when that happens, you know that the person will – from on, will not see you the same way. You’re just not another person to ask, “So tell me who is your competition?”

You can see the difference between these 2 questions. One is triggering a response of, “Wow that’s – the person actually really wants to understand what would be, what will make him successful and the company successful.”

So another question you can ask what are the top 3 business initiatives I can impact throughout my role. It’s a really good question. This is not something that someone can immediately say, “Oh, you could do 1, 2, 3.”

You have to think about that and this is the reaction you want to get during the interview that will distinguish you from other people.

It is very important to ask questions. You can’t just sit there and answer all the time, but be careful not to ask the simple somewhat silly questions that anyone can know by just doing a simple Google search. You have to get to that good question type of approach.