Stand Out In Your Job Interview With These Questions

In a recent post titled, How A “Reverse Interview” Can Get You A Job, I shared how asking targeted questions in a job interview can impress you potential employer, giving you an edge over other candidates and increasing your chances of a job offer.

The right questions to ask will vary depending on the particular job and industry you’re going for and will require some specific research on your part. There are, however, some general questions that should always be on your list.

Here are some good examples to get you started, broken down by categories.

Job Specifics – Here’s where you can learn more about both the “hard” and “soft” skills required to be successful and provide more information on your qualifications.

  • What are the challenges of this position?
  • What have past employees done to succeed in this role?
  • Can you describe a typical day for the person in this position?
  • Who held this position previously? OR Why is this position open?

Performance/Advancement/Success – You want to understand how (and if) the company encourages, supports, and rewards their employees.

  • Can you describe the performance review process?
  • What are your expectations for the person in this role in the first 3/6/12 months?
  • Are there opportunities for continuing education and/or professional training?
  • What are the most important qualities needed for an employee to succeed and advance in the company?
  • Will I receive any training for this specific role?

Company Stability – If you can, it’s important to know that the company isn’t going to be laying you off or shutting down shortly after hiring you.

  • What are the company’s short-term and long-term goals for success? How would my team support them?
  • Which goals are you most excited about achieving?
  • Where do you think the company will be in the next five years?

Company Culture – These questions help you get a feel for how you’ll “fit in” with other employees if you’re hired.

  • What have you enjoyed most about working here?
  • How do you handle interpersonal issues on the team?
  • How would you describe the working environment—collaborative, independent?
  • Can you tell me how the company has changed since you came on board?

Closing Questions – Wrap things up or get details on anything you still want to know.

  • Which of my skills and experiences would make me a qualified candidate?
  • Does anything in my qualifications or background concern you around my fit for the job?
  • What are the next steps?

A final note: Don’t ask about benefits or salary during your interview. Once you get an offer you can negotiate your salary if needed and will learn about the benefits package. If either of those is a deal-breaker, you don’t have to accept the job offer.

Feel free to share any questions you’ve asked during an interview that helped get you hired.

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