I’m always friendly and polite in interviews, and I’m genuinely interested in other people. But I like to get down to business by asking, “What questions can I be helpful answering?”
In most cases, the response to that first question indicates within seconds how relevant, prepared and interested a candidate is. The questions a candidate pose signal to me whether I should expand the discussion or wind it down.
In fact, I find that the questions a candidate asks -- and doesn’t ask --are often far more revealing than responses to questions I ask. A candidate’s questions are one of the best indicators of intelligence, reasoning and curiosity -- and the ability to frame and advance a problem with others.
When screening job candidates, certainly apply your own questions. But pay equal attention, if not more, to the questions they ask you.