From perfecting your resume and cover letter, to networking, to prepping for interviews, the job search process can be exhausting. You spend hours paging through books, reading posts on interview questions and have answers prepared for all of them. However, very few of these articles reiterate the point that the interview is a two-way street. Just as the hiring manager is asking you questions to determine whether you’re the best fit for the job, you should be evaluating whether the job is the best fit for you. Take control of your next interview by asking your interviewer these important questions.
Can you describe what a typical day in this role looks like?
This question helps to clarify any confusion you have surrounding the job description. Many times job descriptions are vague, so by asking this question you’ll get a better rundown on the position you’re applying for. This is a great question to get the ball rolling when the interviewer asks if you have any questions.
What does it take to be successful in this role?
Asking this question gives you a better idea on what the expectations for the role are. It’s also a great question in that it sets you up for an opportunity to talk about how your experience applies to the role. You get to counter by adding any particular skills or qualities you have left out in your resume, but which the recruiter thinks are important.
In what area could the organization use some improvement?
This question gives your more insight into the interviewer’s perspective of what challenges the organization faces. If you did your homework, you already know the answer to this question, but by asking it, you’ve opened up the floor to discuss how you’ve faced and solved similar challenges in the past.
What’s the one thing that keeps you coming to work everyday?
This question gives good insight into the culture of an organization. If the interviewer has a hard time giving a sincere answer about the favorite part of their job, it should be a big, red flag. You want to work for an organization where people enjoy coming to work and working together as a team. You’re looking for enthusiasm in the current employee’s answer.
Where do you see the organization in five years?
It’s important to know about the vision of the organization you’re potentially going to spend several years working for. Is there a plan for new services or market expansion? Do they foresee any acquisitions or mergers? Be wary of an organization that can’t answer these questions. If you’re going to spend time and effort dedicating yourself to the job, you want to do so at an organization that is transparent and shares their vision with the employees.
Is there anything you are still wondering about my candidacy that might keep you from offering me the position?
While this question requires a hard head and a little bit of guts to ask, it forces the interviewer to give you real-time feedback on your qualifications for the job. This question also shows the interviewer that you are open to critique and want every opportunity to reassure him or her that you would be the best fit for the job.
What’s our next step?
Don’t leave the interview without asking this final question. It’ll help you relieve your interview anxiety because you will have window of about how long it will be before you hear back from the employer. Ask for a business card from each person you interviewed with so you can send a follow-up thank you note.
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