This article presents 10 suggested questions job candidates can ask during interviews to make a good impression. Green advises questions should reveal the candidate’s motivation and suitability for the role while learning useful information. Examples include asking about growth opportunities, typical challenges, company culture and values.
The questions avoid coming across as self-interested and instead display the candidate’s interest in truly understanding the job and organizational fit. Green explains why generic questions often backfire while personalized, thought-provoking ones help candidates stand out positively. Examples show how questions were framed effectively to engage the interviewer.
Overall the article offers valuable recommendations for crafting questions showing candid interest rather than just passively answering queries. While some suggestions bore similarity, most demonstrated how questions thoughtfully learn about roles beyond superficial details. The guidelines would benefit job seekers through highlighting what actually intrigues thoughtful interviewers.
In summary, this article by Alison Green provides 10 question examples to help candidates make strong impressions in job interviews. Call to action: Continue reading to view specific question suggestions and guidelines for asking them effectively.
Career, business, interviewing, employment, skills, communication, leadership, management, work, success, self-improvement, professional development, human resources
In preparation for a job interview, you’ll likely do your homework: You’ll read up on the target company and industry, think of relevant examples that showcase your skills, and coin strong answers to common interview questions. But will you prepare questions to ask the interviewer? Presented with the opportunity to ask questions, many job candidates politely decline, and most neglect to prepare for this aspect of the interview. Alison Green, a career advice columnist at online magazine The Cut, offers useful tips to asking questions that will elicit the information you really want to know.
- At a job interview, don’t forgo your opportunity to ask questions.
- Ask about the role to elicit details that don’t appear in the job description.
- Query what success in the role will look like.
- Have the interviewer describe the company culture.
- Ask the question you really want to ask.
At a job interview, don’t forgo your opportunity to ask questions.
As your job interview draws to a close, the interviewer will give you an opportunity to ask questions about the role and the company. Skeptics might view this invitation as a trap. Others might decline the chance to ask questions because they don’t know how to phrase what they want to say in a diplomatic way: A candidate who asks, “Are you a horrible boss?” or “Is everyone here miserable?” is unlikely to land the job. But with careful consideration, you can pose questions that divulge useful insights and yield the answers you seek.
Ask about the role to elicit details that don’t appear in the job description.
To find out what you would need to do to fulfill the role’s expectations, ask how your success would be measured. The answer will inform you of the extent of the work you would need to put in to satisfy your manager. You might find that while the job description listed a dozen responsibilities, only a couple of them are significant. If the position is not a new opening, ask how long the previous person worked in the job and what the turnover for the role has been like. A string of short-term employees may be indicative of a difficult boss or work culture.
“If nothing you try gets you a clear picture of how your time will be spent, that might be a sign that you’ll be walking into chaos – or a job where expectations never get clearly defined.”
Ask about the challenges someone in the role could face. You might learn that you would have to deal with, say, a tight budget or messy internal politics, which presents an opportunity to mention how you’ve dealt with similar challenges in the past. Moreover, ask the interviewer to describe a typical workday in the role. If the job description mentions, say, a combination of administrative tasks and computer programming, find out the ratio so you know how your time would be split. You might find there is more or less emphasis on the aspects of the role that most attract you.
Query what success in the role will look like.
Ask what goals the hiring manager expects the successful candidate to achieve within the first year. The answer might reveal how quickly you will need to get up to speed, as well as details about projects that you mightn’t otherwise hear about.
Ask the manager to describe the difference between past employees who’ve performed the role well and those who have excelled. Hiring managers are seeking superior, not mediocre, candidates. This question shows that you are ambitious and reveals what it takes to excel in the role. Are you up to the task?
Have the interviewer describe the company’s culture.
This question might elicit a somewhat skewed response. The hiring manager views the team through a subjective lens and might not be positioned to describe the culture as accurately as a direct report could. Nevertheless, it’s important to establish what traits the interviewer does – and does not – emphasize.
Ask what the interviewer likes about the company. When people genuinely enjoy their jobs, they can tackle this question easily. If the hiring manager struggles to respond, be wary of taking the job.
Ask the question you really want to ask.
The interview isn’t just about impressing the interviewer; you also need to gauge whether the job is the right fit for you. Before the interview, figure out what you really want to know. Perhaps you’ve heard rumors that funding for the position could be cut, for instance. Ask whether there’s any substance to the rumors. But don’t take the interviewer’s response as gospel. Perform your due diligence by talking to people within your network who might have more objective insight.
“If you’re just focused on getting the job and not on whether it’s the right job for you, you’re in danger of ending up in a place where you’re struggling or miserable.”
Before saying your goodbyes, ask the interviewer about the next steps in the recruitment process. If the hiring manager promises you’ll hear back in two weeks, but three weeks elapse with no response, get in touch. Reiterate how keen you are to work at the company.
About the Author
Alison Green is a career advice columnist at The Cut, an online magazine. She runs a career advice website and is the author of the book Ask a Manager: How to Navigate Clueless Colleagues, Lunch-Stealing Bosses, and the Rest of Your Life at Work.