Questions to Ask in a Job Interview








There you are, sitting across from a hiring manager after what seemed to you to be a good first interview. You’re feeling strong and confident, but then – they ask the question you hadn’t prepared yourself for. Even though you probably should have, because it tends to be asked at the end of every interview.

“Do you have any questions for us?”

When preparing for interviews, applicants almost always forget to prepare for this one – they are so caught up in how to best present themselves, that they overlook the power of having well thought out questions to ask at the end.

Now you’re in a panic. You know that asking a question is important. It shows your genuine interest in this position and in knowing more about it and the company, and it gives the interviewer insight into where your head is. But asking the wrong question can also be fatal – for instance, now is not the time to ask about what benefits accompany the job offer. That’s putting the cart before the horse!

So what should you ask?


How have previous employees been most successful in this position?

This question shows you care about being successful, and that you want to know what tools others have utilized in the past to achieve that success. How can you be the best fit for the position, is basically what you are asking. You are showing the interviewer your commitment to being a valuable addition to the company, and to thriving in the role you are interviewing for.


If this wasn’t an interview, and you were just talking to a friend, what would you say you find most rewarding about working for this corporation?

Hiring managers like to know that you aren’t just desperately looking for any job – you want to work for their corporation in this role! With high turnover rates, finding employees who are passionate about the company mission can save organizations a lot of money, and asking the interviewer what they personally find most rewarding shows that you care about finding that fit as well.


What would you most like to see the person in this position accomplish in their first 90 days?

This is such an important question, and one most interviewers and interviewees fail to address – what are the expectations of you in those first 90 days? What could you do to blow your supervisors out of the water, and where should your priorities be placed? Asking this question again shows the hiring manager that you care about being successful in this role, and also that you are open to paying attention to assigned priorities, so long as they are willing to guide you in those early stages.


How would you describe the corporate culture here?

This is another one that focuses on the fit within an organization. It shows you care not just about finding a job, but about finding the right job in the right organization. Hiring managers are starting to place a much bigger emphasis on corporate culture and making hires that fit within that culture. So asking this question shows that you understand the value of that.


Is there anything about my qualifications that you think might be lacking?

While it may seem counterintuitive to potentially bring up areas where you may be lacking, asking this question allows you to address any concerns the hiring manager may have head on. It shows you aren’t afraid of exposing your areas of improvement, and that you are willing to take criticism and provide solutions for those perceived gaps. Finding out about those hesitations in an interview is so much more beneficial than hearing about them when you are being told someone else was given the job – so give the interviewer the chance to express any concerns they may have now, so that you can have the opportunity to ease their worries before those worries count you out for the job.


Easy Ways to Impress at an Interview


Every once in a while, I meet a job candidate who swears they love interviewing. Extreme introverts tend to fall into this camp. They love talking to people and feel confident in their ability to present themselves well, so the interview process isn’t a stressful one for them – it is actually fun and enjoyable.

For most people, though, there is at least some level of anxiety involved in interviewing for a job. Even for job seekers who are otherwise confident in their abilities, it can be scary to put yourself in front of a hiring manager for judgment and consideration. Especially when you really need that job.

Practice and preparation is key. The more you practice your interview skills, the better prepared you will be for any question that may come your way. But beyond that, there are a few things literally every single job seeker can do to improve their chances at an interview. These don’t require you to drastically change your personality or join Toastmasters to improve upon your public speaking – they just involve thinking ahead, and implementing a few simple tactics to garner the attention of the hiring manager in front of you.

Dress To Fit In

Everyone knows you should dress nicely for an interview, but what most people may not realize is that what constitutes as “nice” may vary from corporation to corporation. Finding candidates who can fit into the corporate culture is becoming more important to hiring managers every day, with a focus on building companies people actually want to work for and teams that are productive as a byproduct of their ability to work together.

So what does that mean for you, as the interviewee? Well, it means that taking some time to learn about that corporate culture could help you to pick out that interview day outfit.

Consider visiting the corporation prior to your interview and paying attention to how current employees are dressed on any given day. Do most of them seem pretty decked out, or are jeans and button downs more commonplace? Does this seem like a trendy company to work for, based on the attire of their employees, or do they appear to veer more towards the conservative in work apparel?

Once you’ve made your observations, you can begin to select your own interview outfit. Strive to dress a step or two above what you witnessed (avoid actually wearing jeans to an interview, even if that was all you saw anyone else in) without overreaching (wearing a three-piece suit to that casual office, for instance, would be overkill). You still want to look nice, and as though you have taken this interview seriously, but you don’t want to appear to be so stuffy that you wouldn’t actually fit in.

Show Up Early

It is always better to be early for an interview than late. So strive to show up 15 minutes ahead of your interview time, check in at the front desk, and then wait patiently where you are instructed. Consider bringing a book along with you – one that might spark a conversation with the interviewer, and that you can actually provide commentary on. People almost instinctively ask, “What are you reading,” when they begin interacting with someone who has a book in their hands. This opens the door for a true connection with the interviewer, as opposed to being caught staring at your phone when you are called back.

Know the Company

Spend some time researching the company, looking into recent press releases and innovative new programs they are launching. If you can bring these things up in an interview, and comment on why you see them to be so exciting and how they increase your desire to be a part of the company, you will be showing the interviewer that your passion and excitement is actually about this job – not just any job you can get.

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