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Two interview questions that could make or break your career

These two questions help to elicit the personality and the drive of the candidate

A recent article by Enrique Conterno, president of Lilly Diabetes, outlined two questions he uses to identify candidates who are really looking to make a change within his company and those who are merely fleeing a previous situation or motivated solely by financial gain. These two questions help to elicit the personality and the drive of the candidate, which are crucial elements when it comes to selection.

Employee turnover appears to be speeding up exponentially as the decade progresses, with a recent study commissioned by LinkedIn revealing that millennials change jobs an average of four times in the decade after graduation. Employers sometimes feel that they have a challenge on their hands to sort the wheat from the chaff when it comes to differentiating between people who are in transition and people who would really value a position within their company.

1) Why are you leaving your current employer?

How you answer this question will largely determine how the panel will view your aptitude and employability and whether you are likely to fit in with the corporate environment. Talking about your past experiences can be a chance to demonstrate whether you have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. This is an appropriate time to demonstrate the experience you have garnered over your career and how this is relevant to the role you are currently seeking.

The important thing to remember as a candidate is that this is absolutely not the time to start listing your former employer’s catalogue of sins. Criticising a former employer does not do much for your credentials in terms of integrity and loyalty. From an employer’s perspective, if you are prepared to express negativity towards your old boss, you will do the same to them; instead, focus on how your previous job enriched your capabilities and experience and how this will contribute towards your new role.

2) How do you envisage the future?

The second line of questioning recommended by Conterno is to quiz the prospective employee about what they envisage their future will look like. This gives the interviewer a good insight into your aspirations and goals and whether these will be in line with their corporate values. Hopefully this will be a chance for you to demonstrate your creativity and capacity for innovative thinking, ensuring the panel will view you as a valuable asset for the growth and development of their organisation for the future.

Questions such as these, which are designed to ascertain your core qualities, are to be interpreted as not only a challenge but also an opportunity to demonstrate your key qualities as an employee. Especially if you conduct accurate research into the organisational culture within the firm you are approaching, you can utilise these types of questions to present yourself as somebody whose contribution will be inspiring and energetic – perfect for leading the company onwards to greater and greater things.

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