Asking the Right Questions in a Job Interview
As a job seeker, you want to make sure that you stand out in every interview. One of the most important ways to do this is to be prepared to answer the interviewer’s questions and to ask relevant questions in return. At the end of most interviews, the interviewer will ask if you have any questions for them. This is your opportunity to show that you’re engaged, prepared, and interested in the position.
The best candidates ask relevant and penetrating questions that help them determine if they want to work at the organization. If you don’t ask any questions, it can signal that you either don’t care, are desperate for a job, or haven’t done any preparation. All of these are red flags to the interviewer.
To make the most of this opportunity, there are several standard questions that you can ask, such as:
- How did this position become available?
- Where do you see this industry/company going in the future?
- What challenges do you see for this role/industry/company?
You can also ask more personal questions about the company and the role, such as:
- What do you enjoy most about working at this company?
- If you were the CEO of this company, what would you change?
- Can you describe a typical day for someone in this role?
- What would be your expectations for me in the first 30-90 days in this role?
- Can you describe the types of people that are generally successful in this role?
If you’re interviewing with a hiring manager, these questions can be very useful in helping you determine if the company is a good fit for you. However, if you’re interviewing with a recruiter, they may not have the answers to these questions. Additionally, the hiring manager’s level of enthusiasm in answering these questions can sometimes indicate how well the interview went.
Another question you can ask is if they’ve seen anything in other candidates that they haven’t seen in you that you could perhaps speak to. However, be careful with this question and only ask it if the interview had a good vibe and seemed to go well.
One of the most important questions to ask at the end of an interview is “Where do we go from here?” Make sure you never leave an interview without knowing the next steps. Are they going to contact you? Do they need another few weeks to make a decision? Don’t leave any room for confusion.
Finally, always send a thank-you note, either by email, phone, or social networking, the same day or the next day at the latest. The absence of a thank-you note can signal negative things, so make sure to take the time to send a brief message to say thank you for the opportunity to interview and highlight something positive from your interaction.
Asking the right questions in a job interview can make a huge difference in how you’re perceived by the interviewer. Show that you’re prepared, interested, and engaged, and never leave an interview without knowing the next steps. Good luck with your job search!