Referral Interview Questions
Questions You Should Ask at a Referral Interview
Friday, April 11, 2003; 3:54 PM
Often overlooked by job seekers, referral interviews can be the most effective interviews in your job search. These interviews have five goals:
- Establish goodwill and understanding.
- Provide and collect information.
- Receive advice and counsel.
- Extend your network.
- Be remembered professionally and favorably.
- Ice breaker, small talk to build rapport.
- Questions about the individual as related to information you're seeking.
- Questions about the industry: where it's going, current challenges
- Questions about your background summary; how the individual thinks your strengths and achievements can be utilized.
- Networking/referral questions
- Do you think my objective is realistic, achievable, and clearly stated and supported?
- Based on my background, which industries or types of companies or organizations would seem most appropriate for me to explore?
- Are you aware of companies or industries that are in a growth or transitional position?
- Are there any current trends or developments of which I should be aware?
- What obstacles might I encounter? How can I overcome them?
- Where would you see someone like myself fitting into a company such as yours? (Ask only where appropriate. For instance, you wouldn't ask this of a lawyer if you wanted to be in banking.) You can ask the interviewee's thoughts on these specific areas:
- Problems dealt with
- Kinds of people who succeed/fail
- Salary range/starting and long range potential
- Are there any professional organizations I should join or publications I might want to read?
- If you were me, how would you go about finding a new position?
- Who are some people you would recommend I contact for information and advice?