Secret Interview Question

I’ve shared this tip several times and heard great responses. So now I’ll let everyone in on my secret interview question.

During the course of my last job search, I came up with a great question to ask the interviewer. I used it 18 times and was able to predict the outcome of 11 interviews. I got 3 wrong and I couldn’t get a read on the rest. That’s a success rate of over 50%!

The question is “What concerns do you have about me?” or some variation. It’s a simple, but effective question. I really like the question both as an interviewer and interviewee because it cuts out all the bullshit and formalities.  It forces the interviewer to give real feedback and brings any shortcomings front and center.  As the candidate, you get truthful feedback and most importantly, an opportunity to address it.

During your interview, you are trying to prove yourself. But you might not fully address all the requirements,  both explicit and implicit. Asking the question turns an unstated requirement into an explicit one. Each time, I was able to address their concerns and I walked out with a good sense of the outcome.

Here are some of the answers I received.

Note: The interviewer will probably not offering up their criticisms directly (at least I have never heard them), but they may be the reasons you don’t get the job.

– not enough experience/not right experience
– not the right fit/startup experience
– over qualified/will leave for a better position/not a management position

If you can directly address their concerns, you’ll increase you chances of getting a call back. Otherwise, you will be letting the interviewer to deliberate critical points without your input.

If you use this tip, I would be very interested to hear how it went.

Image by Jessica Hagy