How to Ask High Impact Questions at Interviews

June 25

Interviews are supposed to offer a mutual opportunity for both parties to assess the other for suitability. While traditionally interviews tend to be led by the employer, there is a prime opportunity during the question stage for the interviewee to turn the tables.

This is the right time to throw in a high impact question. Not only will it position you as a credible contender for the job, but it shows you’ve undertaken your homework too.


Questioning with Impact

Great thinkers have a love of learning. They have an inherent curiosity and are not afraid to ask questions, and often pose ones to gain a deeper insight, while showing off their own prowess at the same time.

Key to this is asking the right sort of question; the sort that makes the interviewer think, and leaves them with a position impression of you. When undertaken correctly, this is a great skill to incorporate into any social, business or networking situation.


What Makes a High Impact Question?

The difference between a high impact question, and more general one typically found on the first page of google, is the ability recognise the opportunity to use it to show off your business acumen and experience. As such, a high impact question is framed in a way that demonstrates your knowledge and showcases your talent.

During your research, it’s important to think about the following elements when formulating stand out questions:


What will show off my business acumen?

Think about the context in which you can frame your question. Don’t just jump in with your question, but instead lead into it with a statement or comment about the current situation, that exposes your fluid knowledge of the company. This is a great way to show that you’re genuinely interested in the position, and have undertaken due diligence in terms of research.

How can I express my industry knowledge?

Your interviewer will be assessing your breadth of knowledge throughout the interview. Posing high impact questions helps demonstrate your understanding of the wider industry in context.


Use the opportunity to show that you’re tapped in to the latest news and trends and aware of the impacts these have on the wider business. This is a chance to showcase your industry knowledge and appreciation of how the role may evolve. Your credibility and insight should shine through, positioning you as an expert in your field.


The Art of Questioning

Asking the right questions demonstrates confidence, eagerness and the ability to learn and embrace new challenges. It’s also an opportunity to show off your listening skills – a prerequisite for any senior roles.

Your interviewer will respond to your attentiveness, and will be looking for clues in your body language, so be conscious of your overall response.

Actively listening will also allow you to follow up with further questions too. It’s no bad thing to ask leading or provoking questions, if done so in a respectful way.


Examples of Impact Interview Questions

High impact questions can come from any line of curiosity or unanswered thoughts. The best way to pose these is by framing them in the context of your existing knowledge, for instance:

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“I’m aware that there’s a number of technical issues facing the industry at the moment. While you remain market leaders with 50% share of the industry, how do you see this changing in the future? And, how will you adapt to the changing landscape, and how might this impact the role?”[/perfectpullquote]

Or perhaps;

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“The industry has been heavily affected by new regulations imposed by the government. I’m aware that your organisation is committed to the environment with a zero-waste target by 2025. However, in the short term, what immediate changes are you planning to introduce to combat this issue to fulfill your social responsibility?”[/perfectpullquote]

Looking at the ingredients of each of these questions, they include a statement that highlights one’s industry knowledge and company knowledge, followed by a challenging question to impress. This tested formula is a great way to deliver a powerful articulate question that packs a punch and leaves a positive impression, every time.

About the Author

Concepta Cadogan

Concepta Cadogan

Director - Accounting & Finance 353 ( 1 ) 661 0444

Concepta heads our Accounting and Finance Division and has consistently delivered excellence to her loyal client base for many years in this sector. A genuine market expert in the Accountancy field, her clients and candidates alike have long testified to her passion and desire to source the best talent in a highly competitive market. Concepta’s ability to go the extra mile for her clients and candidates has become the key to her successful career. Her team share an inspirational work ethic with a real desire to get to the best active and passive talent in the market place for their clients and the best opportunities to meet the needs of their candidates.

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