only interview question top ask
Jan 30, 2019

The ONLY type of 1st interview question you need to ask

By Matt Dodgson

Co-Founder - Recruiter & Marketer




If you want to get more 2nd interviews from your first interviews then it’s crucial you ask the RIGHT sort of questions.


So in this video I’m going to show you what type of questions you should ask, why you should ask them and then give you 5 examples that you can use immediately in your interviews so you impress the company and win the job.


So what’s the difference between the right question to ask in your interview and the wrong question?


And there’s a simple answer to this.


The right questions focuses on the company’s need. And the wrong question focuses on your need.


Now before we get into the detail of those questions, I think it’s important for anybody looking for a new job to get into the right mindset for interviews.


And I will just be blunt and give it to you lock stock and two smoking barrels.


The right mindset is this; what YOU want is Irrelevant. Yep, that’s right, what you want is Irrelevant.


Now, between you and I, we obviously know that’s not the case. If you’re searching for a new B2B marketing job then what you want is of course the most important thing.


But what I’m talking about here is the mindset. Because if you can start to operate with the right attitude, basically that what the company wants is the most important thing. Then I guarantee you’ll start to see some amazing results.


Because if you think about it, the reason you’re in the interview in the first place is because the company has a problem. That problem could be that they need someone to generate more leads, it could be that they need someone to improve their content, maybe their online presence needs a rework.


Whatever it might be, that problem is the reason you’re there.


And you being there has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that you want to learn more, that you want to be promoted within 18 months, or be able to work from home one day a week.


Now I’m not saying that isn’t important. And I’m also not saying that you don’t need to know that kind of stuff before you accept a job. Because you definitely do.

We all spend a huge amount of time in work and you as a job seeker need to know if you’re going to get what you want out of it.


Ultimately, your objective of a 1st interview is to get a 2nd interview. Because at least you then have a choice about whether or not to take it forward.

And in order to get a 2nd interview you need to address the needs of the company you’re interviewing for.


And that brings me back to the ONLY type of question you need to ask.


The ONLY type of question you need to ask is orientated around demonstrating your ability to solve their problem.


So, what are some examples of questions that you shouldn’t ask.


Well it could be….


Why do you like working here?

What’s the training like?

How easy is it to advance my career here?

Do you offer flexibility?

What’s the growth plan of the company?


Now don’t get me wrong. Those questions are all very valid. And like I said before I think you do need answers to those at some point throughout the interview process.


But these ME orientated questions should not be asked at a first interview.


So…..what questions should you ask?


Well let me give you 5 examples of those. But before I do it’s important to talk to you about what I call the Q A R technique to give you a bit more context for how these questions should go.


So here’s an example of it in action.


Q; what’s the biggest challenge in this role?


A; to be honest, we need to work on our relationship with the sales team because at the moment we’re not joined up enough


R; ah ok,  it’s interesting you say that. Because in my last company we had a very similar issue. Basically marketing and sales did their own thing and leads were falling through the cracks.


So when I was hired it was my number one priority to sort this. And when I started in the job I organised joint meeting every quarter, with the initial one being around setting the ground rules.

Something that we asked for the sales teams input on too. Things like defining what a lead was. So it became a joint plan and they had ownership of it too.

Then every quarter I’d go and present at their sales meeting and tell them what was coming up. And I could also address any issues face to face.


And after 6 months or so, we saw a huge increase in the conversion of MQL’s to SQL’s and our turnover went up by 30% quarter on quarter.

So if that’s the biggest challenge then I feel I have the experience to help you with that quickly.


Now I’m sure you get the technique here, but what you’re doing is asking a question that then gives you an opportunity to back up why you’re the right person for the job.


If you find yourself getting into a situation where it’s a question from you, answer, another question, answer, then you’ll know the questions aren’t right.


Another way of thinking about this, is approaching the interview as if you were a consultant. Which as a b2b marketer you kind of are. Except you’re on the payroll.


And a consultant would approach a project by understanding in detail what the client was looking for by asking lots of questions about the brief and then telling the client why they can help them.


A good interview should follow this pattern too. You Mr Client have a problem or some goals you want to achieve. Let me find out more about those. And then let me tell you why I can sort them for you.


So, what would be the 5 best questions I’d recommend.


Well here’s my list but feel free to suggest any other questions in the comments below, it would be great to hear your take on it too.


So the first one is the one we used above, what’s the biggest challenge of this job? And this is a great question because it gives you an idea of what needs fixing.

But also if you can convince them you can do the hardest bit of the job then you can obviously do the rest.


Ok, so the next one is.

Fast forward 12 months, what does success look like in this role to you? This is a little beauty, because it gets to heart of the focus of the role. And basically how you’ll be defined.


Question 3 is, So out of all the things on this job description, what’s working and what needs fixing?


Again you’re getting to the heart of where the problems lie. In B2B marketing there’s normally some issue or something that needs fixing. If you can convince them of your ability to fix those things. Then the job will be yours.


From what you’ve heard so far, do you have any concerns about me being a success in this role?

Wow. Now this is a direct one. But it certainly will put your interviewer on the spot, and will also give you the chance to address their concerns.


Now those questions are fairly heavy. They don’t need to be like that. It could be as simple as what’s your content strategy, how do you currently go about getting leads, what sort of technology tools do you use.


Those are all great questions too because you’re probing to find out more, giving you a great opportunity to talk more about your relevance.


So…..that’s my 5 questions. What did you think of them? Feel free to drop me a comment below and I’ll answer your personally.


And if you have some good questions too, I’m sure my audience would love to hear from you. So drop those questions in the comments section below so everyone can benefit from them.


And remember, these are first interview questions. They’re designed to give you an opportunity to discuss your experience so that you leave the interviewer with no doubt that you should be in the shortlist for the next interview.


So I hope that was useful. If you liked this video please hit the thumbs up, please subscribe and also hit the bell so you’re notified of when our next video lands.


We’ve got a ton more videos in the pipeline so I wouldn’t want you to miss out.


Thanks for listening and speak soon.