5 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview
A job interview is a two-way street. As important as it is for the company to get to know you, it is also your best opportunity to determine if the organization is the right fit for your needs. An interview is often structured with a series of predetermined questions and time left towards the end for you to ask anything else that you may want to know.
Can you tell me about the most successful person you’ve hired?
When interviewing with the hiring manager for the position, you are presented with a prime opportunity to learn what kinds of qualities are expected and valued in an employee. For example, they may have previously mentioned that there is great work-life balance, and yet respond to the question with, “They were always the first one into the office and the last one out.” This is a more accurate indicator of the culture of the organization and what will be asked of you.
What makes ______ a great place to work?
When speaking of the company, an interviewer is unlikely to offer information that might deter you from accepting a potential offer. However, asking them why they continue their employment will yield a more personal, honest answer. The response is likely to be more comprehensive because the interviewer is simply sharing their experience and perspective, and you will be able to consider whether you could potentially commit to the organization long-term.
How does leadership set employees up for success?
Your position has the potential to offer you much more than a paycheck or benefits. When considering where to dedicate the majority of your waking hours in a week, it is important to recognize that your life isn’t slowing down. If you feel like you are wasting years by going to work every day, it is likely the role or environment isn’t a fulfilling one. When you don’t feel happy or at your best, your performance will reflect this. Asking this question offers insight into management’s commitment to the personal and professional development of their employees, and it also sends a message to the interviewer that you have a growth mindset – a transferable trait.
Is there anything I've said that makes you doubt I would be a great fit for this position?
As a candidate, you were invited to interview upon having your CV screened. This means that they liked what they saw on paper and wanted an opportunity to learn more about you. As the interview is wrapping up, it is in your best interest to ask this question for several reasons. For one, your responses are fresh in the interviewer’s mind. If there is anything that they would have wanted you to clarify or further elaborate on, you gave them an opportunity to continue the conversation and paint yourself in the best light. Additionally, it puts the interviewer on the spot to envision you in the role. If they felt that you met their requirements, that will be their last impression of you following the interview, increasing your chances of receiving an offer.
How has this position evolved?
During the interview, you will be told about the responsibilities of the role. Asking how the position has grown or changed with the organization will give you a sense of the value it offers to the company, whether or not the work is routine, and if accepting the position could potentially lead to career advancement. If the work is consistent every day with little room to innovate or think outside the box, it might be more challenging to grow with the company and get promoted – as you may not be receiving many opportunities to demonstrate the scope of your skillset. Inquiring about the position will offer the same clarity as asking about your next steps if hired, without giving the impression that you are only interested in the role to get something better.
Written by: Sophia Corst