Questions to Ask During Your Next Job Interview
If you really want the job, just nailing the interview questions might not be enough. Interviewers want you to ask questions! Imagine yourself as the hiring manager. You’ve just asked the candidate a bunch of questions and they seem fairly qualified. Then you ask “So, do you have any questions for me?” If the answer is “No, I think you covered everything,” how does that make you feel?
What happens after they ask if you have any questions sends a strong message about you as a candidate. Are you disinterested? Unprepared? Or are you a focused and goal-oriented professional that leaves a positive, lasting impression?
Developing your own list of questions to ask is just as important as prepping to answer questions that are posed to you. Not only will asking the right questions give you an opportunity to learn more about the company or the job itself, but it sends a clear message that you are engaged, and it adds value to the entire exchange, allowing you to stand out among other qualified candidates.
And yes, rather than wing it, you should prepare a list of questions. You might have one or two favorite questions, but odds are that some of your questions may be answered during the interview process and it’s best to have back-up questions ready to go. I suggest preparing at least five questions. You don’t have to ask them all, but it will give you options to work with.
A great place to start your preparation is on the company website. You can find the latest news and learn a lot about organizational culture and values with just a few clicks. While you’re at it, if you can find LinkedIn profiles of the interviewer(s), you’ll be better prepared to ask thoughtful questions.
Here are some suggestions that can help you get additional insight into what’s most important to you.
About the Company
- If you could change one thing about the company or the culture, what would it be?
- How would you describe the working environment?
- Does the company provide any training programs or opportunities?
- Are there opportunities for advancement?
About the Job
- Can you walk me through a typical day on the job?
- Is there a performance review process for this position?
- Would I be working with a team?
- Can you tell me anything about my direct supervisor?
- What is your ideal candidate for this position?
- What do you think are the biggest challenges someone in this position will face?
- Beyond the specific hard skills required to perform the job, what soft skills do you believe would be most critical in a candidate?
About the Interviewer
- What do you enjoy most about working here?
- How did you get your start here?
About the Hiring Process
- What are the next steps in the hiring process?
- Is there a timeline for getting someone placed in the position?
About You as a Candidate
- What can I help to clarify that would make hiring me an easy decision?
- Do you have any concerns or reservations about my qualifications?
Take these suggestions, adapt them to fit your circumstances and make them your own. Pay attention and be careful not to ask questions that have already been answered. This can do more harm than good.
Have suggestions for more questions to use in an interview? Please share them in the comments.
If you’re looking for more career advice regarding the job search, interviews and follow ups, see some of our related articles:
- How to Nail Your Next Video Interview
- Tackle 5 of the Most Common Interview Questions
- As a Job Seeker, You Should Care About Your Online Presence
- Mindy’s Top 10 Interview Basics
- 7 Things to Avoid in Your Next Job Interview
- Following Up After an Interview
- Starting a New Job: Making a Great First Impression
Mindy Mihajlov, Manager of Technical Recruiting
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