How to ask The Essential Questions during a job interview without coming off as unprepared

Don Ian Cher
Don Ian Cher Guest Posts: 11
edited November 2022 in Peer Assist

Hi Force Management team,

I understand that we need to ask The 4 Essential Questions during a job interview - be it with HR, hiring manager, etc.

1.     What problems do you solve?

2.     How do you solve those problems?

3.     How do you do it better and/ or differently than the competition?

4.     What is your proof?

How do we set the tone that we would like to get their views on these questions without coming across as "this candidate didn't even bother to read our company website. the mission statement and customer success stories are all there"?

I ask this because there have been cases where an interviewer told me to "refer to their company website for all the customer success stories", which made it seem as though I didn't do my homework.


  • Rachel Clapp Miller
    Rachel Clapp Miller Member [Pro], Administrator, Moderator, Super User group (not at launch) Posts: 52

    Hi @Don Ian Cher - Great question. I would just frame it in a way that you've read the website, but you're interested in how they position it with a customer. Here's what I would say:

    "I know you have a lot of great information on your website and there are a lot of customer testimonials there talking about the value you provide. It's clear you're solving big problems for your customer. In the customer conversation, how do you articulate the key problems you solve and how you do it differently than the competition?"

    I'd be curious how they're able to articulate back the problems they solve - beyond just the digital content on their website. If they have measurable results on the website (not all companies do), you can probably feel confident that they have that proof and don't need to press them for that in the interview. However, a great hiring manager will appreciate your desire to understand those problems before you take the position, beyond what's on the website. If they don't want to answer the question, that may be a red flag for you.

  • John Kaplan
    John Kaplan Member [Pro], Member [Plus] Posts: 21

    @Rachel Clapp Miller I love this answer! Also, @Donal O'Riordan I think by positioning your answer the way that Rachel has outlined will also get you a better shot to move on to the hiring manager faster. When we ask people good, authentic questions that they can not answer or answer in the best way (like in this case, the HR Manager) they are more likely to move you on to the person who is better equipped to answer that. Just like in a sales call!

  • Don Ian Cher
    Don Ian Cher Guest Posts: 11