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Putting your best foot forward in an interview
Developing the right set of questions can help facilitate the discussion
You’ve got your elevator pitch about why you are the ideal candidate for this role down to a tee.
You’ve selected your best business attire and certainly “look” the part.
Now you just need to provide a firm handshake and make a good first impression in the interview, right?
Wrong. Around the same time you are fine tuning your responses to common behavioral interview questions, you should also consider identifying the right questions to ask the interviewers.
According to Lauren Romano, manager, campus recruiting, Deloitte Services LP, think of an interview as more of a two-way dialogue than a one-way dissection of your resume. By flipping your perspective, you can actually use an interview as an opportunity to learn more about the role you are applying for and if it would be an ideal fit for you. As an added bonus, asking thoughtful questions will also demonstrate to the interviewer your preparedness and interest in the position.
Whether you’ve had several opportunities to interact with Deloitte professionals, or none, Romano encourages candidates to research the organization. Once you’ve done your homework, carefully think through what topics would help you understand the organization more thoroughly, as well as questions that help clarify or shed more light on the actual role for which you are applying. Romano strongly encourages campus candidates to think through questions that you cannot readily find the answer to through public sources like company profile pages.
It’s really important to leverage your natural curiosity to identify questions that can help facilitate a great interview. Write down the questions you have – recruiters notice when candidates have taken the time to research the company and come prepared with some thoughtful questions.
While you are well on your way to helping facilitate a positive interview, there are some things you may want to consider, such as:
- Be mindful that the person interviewing you probably won’t have subject matter knowledge in all things Deloitte. Consider posing your questions in a way that you can gain some level of insight from them. Remember that answers are providing you more detail to consider as you weigh the pros and cons of starting your career at Deloitte.
- Have five or six questions ready to ask your interviewer. However, be cognizant of verbal or body language that communicates to you that the interview is wrapping up or concluding.
- Ask what you really want to know. Romano says there are questions everyone wants to ask that may feel “risky” or too controversial but her advice is to carefully consider how to phrase the question so it’s less negative and more constructive. For instance, if you really want to know how much travel the role will involve, you could frame it as something along the lines of: “I realize there is some travel involved with this role, but I was curious if you had a perspective about work-life fit at Deloitte overall.”
- Make sure you tailor your questions to your interviewer. You probably don’t want to inquire about what the first year at Deloitte is like with a partner, principal or director as they may have a long tenure with Deloitte. Instead, ask more senior leaders about growth in his or her particular practice area and learning and development opportunities. Save the first year question for the consultant or manager from the team who interviews you.
Interviews are conversations. Conversations that can help you learn more about Deloitte and the role for which you are applying. By taking time to develop thoughtful questions, you can advance your knowledge and gain insight about the organization, while also helping you stand out in the interview process.