Seven Great Questions to Ask at a Job Interview

It’s Now Your Turn. Fair Play!

After they drag you through the fire, here are 7 questions to pose to them.

Prior to the interview, do some research. Study the job description and requirements carefully. Search their web site to see how the organization presents itself. Look for news clips and comments about the company on blogs and news websites.

For the interview itself you should dress appropriately. Be Prepared.

Here are a few questions to ask that could really help you:

 1.     What exactly are my day-to-day duties? It is essential that you clearly understand your role and the tasks that you would be expected to perform. It is easy to make assumptions and get the wrong impression of what the work would be. There needs to be clarity in what is expected of you. If the interviewer cannot give a clear answer then this is a red flag, so politely follow up with more questions.

2.    What are the criteria that you are looking for in a successful new hire? The company may have listed what was wanted in a candidate, but it is very useful to hear the criteria directly from the interviewer and/or hiring manager. The more that you can learn about what they want and how they will make the decision the better placed you are to influence that decision.

3.    What are the opportunities for training and career advancement? This question serves two purposes. It helps you to understand where the job might lead and what skills you might acquire. It also signals that you are ambitious and thinking ahead.

4.    What is the biggest challenge facing the organization today? This sort of question takes the interview into a more strategic direction. It proves that you are interested in being with a company that has a good understanding of its “Needs.” It can lead to interesting discussions that can show you in a positive light – especially if you have done some smart preparation. If appropriate you can follow up this question with some questions about the objectives of the department and the manager who is considering you for employment.

5.    When did you join the company? After the interviewer has asked a number of questions about you it can make a good change to ask a polite question about them. People often like talking about themselves and if you can get them talking about their success in the company you can learn things that you wouldn’t have necessarily known.

6.    How do you feel that I measure up to your requirements for this position? This follows on naturally from the previous questions. It is a perfectly fair question to ask. This is a “trial close”. If they say that you are a good fit then you can ask whether there is any reason you might not be offered the job. If they say that you are lacking in some key skill or attribute then you can move into objection handling mode and point out some relevant experience or a countervailing strength.

7.    Would you like to hear what I could do to really advance your department and organization? Hold this question for the end of the interview. Most interviewers will reply, “Yes.” Expounding on what you already know, you can give a “brief sales pitch” on why you fit the criteria and why your strengths will significantly assist them to meet their objectives. Make it short, direct and clear with the emphasis on the benefits for them of having you on the team. At the end ask something like, “How does that sound to you?”

 Many candidates take a passive role at the interview. They competently answer the questions that are put to them but they never take the initiative by asking intelligent questions that steer the interview in a helpful direction and under your control.

If you are a proactive “Can-Do” candidate who asks the kinds of questions given above then you will be seen as more effective and you will greatly increase your chances of being offered the job.

2 thoughts on “Seven Great Questions to Ask at a Job Interview

  1. My favorite question for a call-back interview is “What does it take to fail here?”

    All too often interviewers will blather on about “entrepreneurial spirit” and the need to be able to work independently while being a team player. Candidates can often get more information with this question than with any other on their question lists.

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