Important Questions to Ask During Your Job Interview

You received a call inviting you to interview for a position that appeals to you.  That’s fantastic news!  One of the biggest hurdles to landing a job is making it to the interviewing stage.  

If you’ve come this far, you must have spent a lot of time and effort on crafting your resume and cover letter in a way that positioned you as uniquely qualified for the job.  You know this is no time to rest on your laurels and that you have to dedicate just as much effort into preparing to answer those tough interview questions. 

Preparing and practicing answers to the most common interview questions is smart and will help you to seem more confident and competent.  However, don’t forget to include some prep time to brainstorm a few pertinent questions to ask of your potential employer.

Asking insightful questions relevant to the company and position at hand shows you’re serious about being hired.  It also demonstrates an ability to think critically about the dynamics involved in a successful work partnership.  

In addition, asking questions is beneficial to you, as well. The answers can be quite telling with regard to whether this job is a good fit for your values and skills.  Let’s take a look at some of the most important questions to ask during your job interview. 

1. What does a typical day look like in this specific position?
This question might seem a bit obvious to ask, but it’s a good one on several levels. Listen for specific clues about supervisor expectations and insight regarding company culture. This information can help you to determine whether you think you can fit in and deliver according to the standards that are in place. The answer can also let you know if your potential superior is well-informed of what each of the staff members’ jobs entail and whether the amount of work is in accordance with your projected salary. 

2. What particular challenges come along with this job? 
Asking this question shows that you are not afraid of a challenge and are realistic regarding the fact that most jobs have aspects that might pose some frustration or stress. If you can do so in a natural way, you may even be able to provide some examples of times you’ve overcome similar challenges or ideas you may have for handling the specific problem mentioned.

3. What would your perfect candidate be like with regard to personality, skills and experience? 
This is a good question to ask early in the interview if you are given the opportunity to post questions or if you find a chance to ease it into the conversation. Listen carefully to the answer given, as it can help to guide your responses during the rest of the interview. 

4. How will the work I do in this position contribute to the company’s overall goals? 
This question demonstrates a couple things. The first is that you want to be able to see yourself with the company’s future, that you are confident you can fulfill the job duties. It also lets the employer know that contributing to the overall company dynamic is meaningful to you and that you value a position that is significant within the organization. 

5. What changes or growth do you see within this position over the next three to five years? 
This is another good question that makes your desire to obtain a long-lasting position clear. It shows commitment and interest in career growth. The answer you receive will greatly help you to assess whether those in charge see value and growth in the position or whether it’s likely your potential job is viewed as easily dispensable. 

6. What can I answer for you that would make you more confident in hiring me? 
The boldness of this question may take your interviewer off guard for a moment, but it will also show that you are open to accepting feedback and that you’re quite confident in your abilities. 

7. What are the next steps in the hiring process? 
Asking this question before leaving the interview cements your interest in the job. It also provides you with guidelines as to when you can expect to hear some news and gives you an estimate of when you should follow up regarding the position. 

These are just a handful of important questions to ask during your job interview.  Feel free comment below with your own questions or let me know how you can tweak these to best fit your specific industry.