10 Great Questions to Ask in an Interview

In Career Advice
May 10, 2016

10 Great Questions to Ask in an Interview

Have you ever had to deal with someone who just couldn’t quit talking about themselves? It’s as if they have no interest in anything outside of what directly affects them, right? Unfortunately, its easy to do the exact same thing when looking for a new job. Use these questions to ask in an interview and go in prepared!

Although saying less during the interview leaves less room for error, its vital that you fire off a few question the interviewers way. Why? Because it shows that you’re genuinely interested in the company and the position, and can imagine yourself working there. This, in turn, makes the interviewer imagine you working in the position as well, subtlety pushing them to advance you to the next stage of the hiring process.

Don’t come off as self-centered and only out for yourself, even though you may very well be. People are generally not a fan of vanity.

Another reason you want to ask more questions is simply to get the information you need to move forward. Whether you want to plan around multiple interviews, get to know the team you’ll be working as a part of, or just want to know how things move forward, all of this info will serve you well in your overall job search.

10 Great Questions to Ask in an Interview:

1. What Would the Specific Expectations of Me Be If I’m Hired for the Position?

The last thing you want to do is get involved with a new employer and have no idea what you’re doing. If you move forward with a position and don’t know how to perform the responsibilities involved, you’ll likely be searching for a new job, again, in the near future.

Be sure, if you’re not already, of the duties by asking the interviewer to recite the general responsibilities of the position, and if anything was left out of the job description that you saw.

2. Can You Explain the Training Process?

Show you’re interested in the company by asking about the training program they provide, how long it is, how intensive, etc. Try to get a picture of what the next few weeks will be like if you’re chosen for the position.

This is valuable to you since it allows you to plan accordingly and prepare, but also to the employer as it shows that you’re serious about the position and looking forward to starting. This may put you ahead of other candidates who fail to ask any questions about the position.

3. Does this Position Involve Working With a Team or Independently?

Some positions are intrinsically team-based, but some can go either way. Depending on the job you’re applying for, ask about whether you’ll be working with a team or not. If so, follow up with asking about how many people you’ll be with, what they work on together, what are their processes for accomplishing goals, and anything else you can think of that’s relevant.

For many job seekers, this can be a deal-breaker. Many are looking for a team-oriented position while others just want to do their work and go home for the day. If this is you, be sure you ask before getting in too deep and realizing you’ve made a mistake, wasting valuable time.

4. Are There Any Hidden “Keys to Success” for this Particular Position?

This may be different from employer to employer or even job to job, but either way, many companies have unspoken, unwritten codes of conduct that can help you out in the long run. Even getting a few small details about the workplace, the management, or the employees can go a long way when it comes time for you to start your training.

Try to figure out how the place runs, who you need to go to for what things, and anything else that can make the transition smoother.

5. Are There Any Major Challenges That the Company is Currently Facing?

It could be the result of a lawsuit, an under-staffed workforce, or economic hardship, either way, you should try to get any information that you couldn’t find in your research about the company by asking your first point of contact: the interviewer.

Simply asking this question shows that you’re interested in the well-being of the company and also provides you with valuable info that could directly pertain to your future. For example, if they’re short-staffed, landing a position that you want should be more likely, allowing you to plan accordingly.

6. What Can I Do to Make the Onboarding Process Smoother?

This is more of a technical question than anything else, and helps you to stay prepared and make a good impression during your first weeks of employment. Ask about what paperwork they’re going to need, what they provide to their employees vs. what you need to buy yourself, what the training schedule may look like, etc.

This question, again, serves to make your life easier and allow you to come off looking as good as possible to your new peers.

7. Can You Walk Me Through a Typical Day in the Life?

Even if you’re a 20+ year professional in the position you’re applying for, this question still provides valuable information about the workplace and your peers that you otherwise wouldn’t have. While the job may be the same that you’ve done time and time again, the environment, the people, and the processes will likely be somewhat different.

Express your interest in joining the team by getting a clearer picture of what your typical work day will look like, if you are chosen.

8. What Growth Opportunities Are Available?

If you’re a career-minded individual, you’re likely to be searching for a place that you can grow with and that will offer more opportunities in the future for advancement. Recruiters know this and will gladly brag about the various options their employees have to advance within their organization, so don’t be afraid to ask about the career paths available to you, if you’re hired.

This also shows that you’re looking for something more long-term, rather than one who’s just looking for the first job they can get, making it one of the best questions to ask in an interview.

9. How is Success Measured at this Company?

Most companies perform some sort of performance review for their employees to let them know what they’ve been doing great at and where they can improve. If you’re serious about this employer and looking to build a career with them, ask about their reviews and what criteria they look for in exemplary employees.

This questions shows you care about the performing successfully in the position and that you can handle constructive criticism. If you’re ultimately offered the job, don’t be afraid to ask senior coworkers for tips on what you should and should not be doing.

10. Can You Explain the Company’s Hiring Process?

You’re doing yourself a big favor by asking this question in particular. If you know what to expect in the coming week or two, you can more easily plan for the best approach in your job search and where you stand against the other candidates. Make sure you stay flexible with their requests for further interviews or whatever other means of weeding candidates out.

Summary

Don’t let fear or your nerves to get the best of you when it comes to the interviewing process. These are just a few of the questions to ask in an interview and recruiters typically don’t mind answering them. Don’t be afraid to add more questions you may have to this list and make note of the important details of their answers.

Hiring managers want to hear from you and by asking questions that pertain to the job, the company, and/or their hiring process, you show you have a more vested interested in the position than many other candidates may have.

Good luck at your next one!

Advance your career. Change your life.

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