Becoming a Better Job Candidate 5/12: Ask Thoughtful Questions

There comes a time at the end of every job interview when it’s your turn. You’ve been asking questions for what seems like hours and now you get to flip the script. But what kinds of questions do you ask? There are things that you want to know—about benefits or your daily schedule—but you have to be mindful. Your questions say a lot about you and you want to make sure you seem thoughtful, focused, and willing to learn. Here are the best questions to ask at the end of an interview.

Ask about your interviewer

Don’t hesitate to ask your interviewer about their own career trajectory in the company. Ask how they started in the company, what they most enjoy, what challenges they face, and what their hopes for career advancement are. If they give you a really candid and honest answer, then great, you can learn a lot. If they’re passionate and enthusiastic, then you may have found a company that’s a good fit for you. But if they’re standoffish or flat with a “party line” response, you might wonder why they’re not fired up and excited about their work.

Show off what you know

Interviewers love to see that you’re genuinely interested in their company and that you’ve done a little research, so show that you’ve put in the effort. Ask about a current event you discovered or some sort of recent acquisition and how your role might be affected. Or how the valuation of the company might be affected. Whatever you ask, show that you’re interested in the company and that you’ve put in the time to learn more about it.

Inquire about the company

Ask about the health of the company, who its major competitors are, what its challenges are, and what its long-term and short-term goals are. This question shows that you’re thinking bigger picture and looking for ways to contribute to the company goals.

Ask about the position itself

You might want to know more about the position you’re interviewing for. Find out about its history, people who’ve filled it in the past, and how it fits into the larger mission of the company. Knowing how the position has involved would be pretty helpful—that way, you don’t try and reinvent the wheel if it’s already been attempted. What are the most important skills and qualifications for this position and what does success look like? Find out who you’ll report to and who will report to you and what supports you’ll have in the company.

Find out about company culture

There are a lot of important layers to the company culture question. First, you want to know about the work environment. Is it more collaborative or do people tend to work independently? Next, you want to know what the company philosophy is, how it prioritizes employee happiness and how it supports employee development.

For more tips on preparing the best questions to ask in your next interviews, contact our team today.


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