Asking questions in a job interview isn’t just about showing your enthusiasm for the job. It’s also a great way to find out whether the role will be a good fit for you.
If you’re looking for a better job, you should prepare some questions in advance to ask your interviewer. Here are seven of the best questions to ask during your interview.
1. Could you walk me through a typical day in the job?
If your interviewer hasn’t already talked about it, ask about the day-to-day responsibilities of the new role. You’ll show you’re interested in learning everything you can about the new job. Plus, you’ll get a sense of what a typical day will look like.
If the role has any unique requirements, you’ll be able to hit the ground running in your first few days. This question lets you move past the general job description and dive deep into the details of the new job.
2. What would be my top priorities in the first 30, 60, and 90 days?
With this question, you show you’re thinking strategically about how to be successful in the new job. The first 90 days in a new job are typically considered a transitional period. You go through training, join the team, and start adding value to your department.
You’ll find out what your top priorities will be as a new hire and indicate you’re ready to start contributing. You’ll also get a feel for what would be expected of you if you joined the company.
3. What are the major pain points facing the company right now?
This is one of the best questions to ask your interviewer because it shows you have a big picture mindset. You’re curious about big challenges facing the organization and how everyone is working together to overcome them.
Try to get specific with this question by doing pre-interview research on the company and the industry it operates in. Once you get into a discussion, you can show you’re eager to help the team resolve these pain points.
4. How will my work contribute to the mission of the company as a whole?
According to Dave Kerpen, CEO of Likeable Local, his favorite question to get in a job interview is, “How will the work I’ll be doing contribute to the organization’s mission?” He told Business Insider this question tells him the applicant cares about the company’s mission and is looking for a job they can believe in.
It suggests you aspire to be part of something bigger than yourself. You’re eager to see how your role fits into the larger puzzle.
Before you ask this question, make sure you’re clear on what that mission is. Learn about the organization before your interview so you’re informed and ready to speak on the company’s vision for success.
5. What characteristics do your top performing employees share?
You’re not the only one who prepares for a job interview. Hiring managers also prepare a set of criteria. They think about the job description and what they’re looking for in a new hire. As part of this process, they consider what skills have made current employees successful.
By asking about qualities of best-performing employees, you can learn what you need to succeed in the organization. This question also indicates you’re sincerely interested in the job and want to become a top performer.
6. Where do you see the company in five years? What about 10?
Here’s another question that shows your ability to think about the big picture. You’re curious about the company’s overarching goals. You want to know where it’s headed and how your role within it could evolve.
This is one of the more complex questions to ask at a job interview, and it could lead to a big discussion. Don’t be afraid to ask follow-up questions and let the conversation branch into new directions.
7. How do you support employees’ professional development?
By asking about professional development, you’ll get a sense of whether the organization will invest in you as a person. Plus, you’ll indicate you’re interested in staying in the role long-term.
You also gain valuable intel from your interviewer’s answer. Is this a role you can grow in, or will you hit a dead end after a few years?
Tailor your questions to the organization
Asking questions during and at the end of a job interview is a great way to show your interest and enthusiasm. You’ll be taking advantage of the time you have to gain insight into the organization beyond what you can learn online.
At the same time, be careful not to ask too many simple or obvious questions. “Yes or no” questions won’t get you anywhere, and asking about something you can easily learn yourself will suggest you’re unprepared.
The best questions to ask an interviewer are tailored to the organization and follow up on something you read during your research. Customizing your questions to ask at a job interview is one more way to show you’re prepared and eager to join the team.
What questions will the interviewer ask you? Check out the most common job interview questions, along with advice on how to answer them.
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