The One Question Every Candidate Should Ask in an Interview

Interviews are just as important for the candidate as it is for the employer. Finding the best fit for both is crucial to ensure a long-term relationship.  In my role, I’ve participated in hundreds of interviews, and while some questions are better than others to determine the best fit, there’s one question every candidate should ask in an interview. When I hear the question, “What are the company’s goals and how does this role help reach that goal?” I stop and take notice and I can guarantee your interviewer will too.

For the candidate, this question assumes that the organization has contemplated how the company goals filter to the team, and eventually to the team member.  The answer tells a candidate how important the role and individual team members are within the organization.  Now more than ever, during a pandemic, knowing how company goals have changed and whether roles have been re-aligned to reach these goals, is critical. If the interviewer cannot answer this question on the spot, it may be a red flag to the candidate.

Ultimately, this essential question is how performance is rated and determines employee accountability. In many cases, compensation and further career advancement depend on a candidate being able to tie their performance to achievement of the defined goal. For these reasons, it’s a question every candidate should address.

Amanda Nicholas, VP, Business Development
October 20, 2020

Amanda Nicholas, VP Business Development, at Jacaruso Enterprises has spent her 20+ year career in key leadership roles devoted to building pre-eminent revenue organizations.  She credits much of her success to the recruiting and selection processes for building world-class teams that know their individual contribution in the goal cascade of those companies.

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