Looking for some good questions to ask in a job interview? Read this! We have three questions and three backups that you should ask every interviewer.
Most job seekers prepare well for job interviews. They polish their resumes, prepare to answer common questions, and show up looking their best.
But many forget to prepare for a key part of the interview:
The part when the conversation flips and the interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions for me?”
Interviewers expect you to have questions for them. It shows that you’re excited about the job prospect and eager to learn more about the company. Showing up without questions isn’t going to land you the gig.
So, you should show up with some questions. And, perhaps more importantly, you should show up with the right questions. Asking the right questions can set you up to become one of the top contenders for the position.
Here are the top three questions to ask at an interview:
1. What Skills Does Your Ideal Candidate Have?
The answer to this question will help you figure out if you’re qualified for the job. It’s possible that you may need to get a few extra certifications to do this job properly.
If that’s the case, don’t worry. Let them know that, while you don’t currently hold those certifications, you’re happy to obtain them. This demonstrates that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to succeed in the role.
Use this question as an opportunity to highlight your skills. If they mention a skill that you didn’t list on your resume or that hasn’t been touched on during your conversation, let them know that you have it. This will show them that you’re just the person they want.
They may actually flip this question around and ask you what you think would make a good candidate, so be ready. Research the position and try to summarize what they are looking for beyond the clear-cut skills listed in the job description.
2. Why Do You Enjoy Working for This Company?
Listen carefully to their answer. Pay attention, not just to their words, but also to their demeanor as they speak.
This will give you insight into two things:
First, you’ll get a picture of the company culture and what working for this company is like.
Second, you’ll find out if they actually enjoy working there. If the hiring manager starts shifting in their seat and can’t look you in the eye as they answer, it’s a red flag.
After all, if they don’t seem to be excited about their job, why would you want to work there?
3. What Are the Next Steps?
People rarely get hired after the first interview, so it’s essential to ask this question.
Their answer will help you prepare for the rest of the process. It’ll let you know what you need to do to get ready and how long you should wait before following up.
(Of course, make sure to send a follow-up thank you letter, no matter what the rest of the process looks like.)
Asking this question also shows that you are willing to pursue this opportunity through the end and won’t flake out midway.
Bonus: 3 Backup Interview Questions
There’s a chance that the interviewer might answer your questions before you have a chance to ask them. They could have been such great questions that the interviewer anticipated them.
That’s why you need to have some backups.
These three questions are good to have up your sleeve in case your top three no longer apply:
What Are the Biggest Challenges of This Job?
This question shows that you are proactive. You already want to get ready to face challenges and overcome them.
It will also let you know which aspects of the job will give you the most trouble. Perhaps it involves working with a team that has posed a problem in the past. Or, maybe the position involves a lot of overtime.
It’s a good sign if the biggest challenge is purely task-related. This means that you are the only one responsible for overcoming this challenge. As long as you have the skills to tackle that challenge, you have nothing to worry about.
What Does Success Look Like in This Role?
This question will show the interviewer that you don’t just want to get the job, but that you want to excel at it.
It will also let you know how many people actually succeed in the role. Consider asking whether the person who previously held the position was promoted. If they were, it shows that there is potential for growth within the company and that you could be next.
What Are the Company’s Goals and What Role Would I Play in Achieving Them?
Knowing where the company is going will tell you about the security of your job. You don’t want to sign up for a ride on a sinking ship.
If they have big plans for the future, you want to be a part of their growth. Knowing how you fit into their plans will help you do your best in making that plan a reality.
Plus, asking this question shows the interviewer that you’re excited to work towards a common goal. Teamwork is a soft skill that most hiring managers look for, and this question illustrates that you’re a team-oriented person.
These questions will show your interviewer that you’re a smart and dedicated talent. And that’s exactly what you want to convey during an interview.
Job interviews aren’t just about whether you’re a good fit for the job; they’re also about whether the job is a good fit for you. During the interview, you might discover that you’re no longer interested in the position.
In any case, it’s important to walk into your meeting with some good questions for your interviewer. The three outlined above (along with our backups) will help you ace your interview!