Successfully completing a job interview can become a nerve-racking task if you are unprepared. It is important to follow the normal protocol of interview preparation by following some simple steps such as: being properly groomed, researching the company profile, and prepping to respond to interview questions.
Everyone knows that most interviews follow a similar format where the interviewer asks the interviewee questions about their strengths, weaknesses and job-specific skills. However, how would you handle the situation where an interviewer asked “What questions haven’t I asked you?”.
This article will address that question and simple steps that you can take in order to be prepared to ace that answer and the interview.
The purpose behind this question
The job of an interviewer is to meet with a prospective job candidate, ask specific questions and ascertain whether or not this individual should move on to the next interview round. One way to determine if a candidate is right for the job is to rattle the cage. Of course, this should never move to the point of exasperation. However, an interviewer may want to test to see how well a candidate reacts to certain questions, as a measuring tool to discover how well this person reacts under pressure. One of the ways to rock the boat is to ask “What questions haven’t I asked you?” It can either throw the interviewee off guard or provide an excellent opportunity for the candidate to shine and stand out from amongst the crowd of prospects.
Factors to remember when responding
There are three basic factors to remember when dealing with this question during the interview process. The steps are listed below.
1. Prepare for the question
Of course, you will never be completely prepared for every question that is asked during the interview. However, those who plan ahead and prepare for all possibilities will increase their chances of success. So, the first factor is that you need to assume that you will be asked “What questions haven’t I asked you?” during the interview process. During the preparation stage, you need to practice how you will answer such a question. Remember to keep your tone of voice steady. Do not act surprised with such a question, because you will be prepared to answer it. “Winging it” is great and works sometimes, but you should never trust the outcome of your interview to that nonchalant attitude. When you prepare, your preparation will shine through and that will impress the interviewer and increase your chances of getting that second interview, or even in being offered the job.
2. Think outside the box
The next factor involves thinking outside the box. For example, it’s great to practice how you would answer the question, but you need to think outside the box regarding what those unasked questions would be. The interviewer wants to hear from you and measure how well you think on your feet, without tripping yourself up. That’s where the think outside the box method meshes with the time of preparation. Prepare for this question and start to think about what uncharacteristic questions could be asked during an interview but usually aren’t. If you can spend some time generating some unusual questions, you will increase your chances of having several that were not asked already. That means you’ll have a response to this question which was prepared and will set you apart from the other candidates. Some infrequently asked interview questions are listed below:
- Have you heard anything bad about our company?
- What book are you currently reading or what is one of your favorites?
- Have you thought about opening your own company?
These are three examples of unusual interview questions which you can bring to the table if the interviewer asked “What questions haven’t I asked you?” With regard to the first one, never respond negatively about the company or any rumors you’ve heard. Basically, it seems logical that you wouldn’t have applied for such a company if you heard something horrible about it. Regarding the book, steer clear about sharing anything that might reflect poorly on you. Hopefully you have read something by a reputable author that the interviewer would quickly recognize. The last question should never be answered with how desperately you want to be your own boss someday. However, demonstrate that your main objective is to work in a company like the one you’re applying for which is innovative and offers a rewarding career building experience.
3. Choose wisely how you respond
Remember that the way you respond to the “What questions haven’t I asked you?” question, will place you in one of two categories. You’ll be considered effective at responding under pressure or not so effective and more prone to discomfiture in those high-pressure situations. Make sure that you thoroughly prepare for the interview and think of questions that will reflect well on you. For example, if you are not an avid reader or generally read only comic books, maybe that question would not be the best one to showcase your professional skills. Always think one step ahead of where your next words will take you.
Job interviews are generally not a fun experience. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, and some employers seek to make the experience more user-friendly and less stressful. However, until you arrive to the interview meeting, you won’t know how it will play out. That is why preparation is always your best friend. Follow the three steps as discussed in this article and you will increase your chances of successfully completing the interview process.