The Q&A portion of an interview is not only a time for you to gain additional insight, it’s also an opportunity for you to further impress your recruiter and conclude the interview on a positive note.
Some candidates ask questions that are carefully thought out and show how well prepared they are for the interview. Other candidates ask one of the three questions that always make me cringe. These questions make me cringe because in my opinion the answers are irrelevant and the questions are a waste of the valuable one on one time you have with your recruiter.
The first and probably most popular question of the three questions that make me cringe is “What don’t you like about your job?”, I truly need someone to explain to me the value of this question. I just don’t understand how the answer to this question benefits the applicant. Unless the person you’re interviewing with holds the exact same position as the one you’re applying for with the organization, the answer to this question is insignificant. But I’ve answered this question so many times that I believe somewhere along the way, one student told another student that this was a good question to ask a recruiter and I respectfully want you to know that it’s not.
What are the qualities you’re looking for in a candidate?
The question, “What qualities are you looking for in a candidate?” and forever uncomfortable follow up question, ”Do you see those qualities in me?” not only make me cringe, they also make me question how much research the candidate completed prior to the interview.
Many companies include a job or program description with their career posting that outlines the knowledge, skills, and abilities the company desires in their ideal candidate. I suspect that a candidate reads that description thoroughly before applying and perhaps reviews the description again when considering potential responses they can offer during the interview. This is why I’m often surprised when a student asks this question. My hope is that because they read the description they know what we’re looking for and they applied because they believe they fit the outlined criteria and are a strong candidate for the role.
The question that commonly follows the one above is “Do you see those qualities in me?”. This question is uncomfortable because it not only puts your recruiter on the spot, it is also somewhat self-serving and in my opinion asked so that you will know how much your recruiter liked you and would perhaps offer you the job. This is a question I never directly answer because I know that I’m interviewing a number of candidates for the same role and I feel it’s irresponsible for me to offer assurances to a candidate when there is the possibility that the next candidate I meet could be an even stronger and better fit for the prospective role.
Have you heard of ___________?
I would classify the third question that makes me cringe as less of an actual question and more of a type of question. This type of question starts with “Have you heard of” and includes the reference of a newly emerging industry trend, program, or theory. While attending an event at a local university, I watched a student ask this type of question and internally cringed for him. The featured speaker, a hotel General Manager, had completed his presentation and asked for student questions. A student stood up and asked the General Manager if he knew about a new customer feedback program. Although the General Manager oversees multiple hotels and has over 20 years of industry experience, he was not familiar with program. I have to point out that this particular program is fairly new and not yet widely used in our industry, I’m confident he’s not the only one unfamiliar with this program. Ultimately the question fell flat and didn’t add to the conversation.
In my opinion, this type of question is less about a candidate receiving information and more about a candidate self-promoting. It’s important to recognize that this type of question has the potential to offend the person you’re asking to answer the question and perhaps undo the great strides you made during your interview. I have my fingers crossed that if the student interviews with the General Manager, he won’t hold the awkward question he raised against him.
In conclusion, I feel it’s only fair that I share with you a few examples of excellent questions to ask your recruiter and I promise in my next blog I’ll do just that!
Ronisha is one of Hyatt’s College Recruiting Managers. Hyatt’s College Recruiters visit more than 30 college campuses each year recruiting top talent at hospitality programs across the country. A graduate of The Ohio State University, Ronisha begin her Hyatt career as a Human Resources Corporate Management Trainee. During her ten years with Hyatt, she has worked at Hyatt Hotels in Orlando, Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey. To learn more about opportunities with Hyatt please visit hyatt.jobs, follow Hyatt on twitter @hyattcareers, become a Hyatt Facebook fan at Hyatt Hotels and Resorts Careers and follow the Campus Recruiter blog at hyattrecruiting.blogspot.com.