Don't Leave a Job Interview Without Asking These 5 Questions

professional skills

Are you preparing for an upcoming job interview? Don't forget to think about what questions you'll ask your interviewer. Here are our five must-ask questions.

Acing the Job Interview

When you prepare for a job interview, you're probably focusing heavily on how to answer the questions you think your interviewer(s) might ask you. And, sure, that's a pretty good way to prepare. But job interviews go both ways. You can - and should - ask your interviewers questions, too. In fact, they'll expect you to and may think you unprepared if you fail to do so. If you're not sure what questions to ask during your next job interview, here are our suggestions for five you should always remember.

An excellent employee wearing medals around his neck

1. What experience and skills would help somebody excel in this position?

Ask this question and ask it as early on in the interview as you can. It'll do two things for you:

1) It'll show your interviewer that you aren't just thinking about getting the job, but how you're going to excel in it. You want to go above and beyond simply meeting expectations. And it creates an association in the interviewer's mind between your name and the idea of excellence. It's almost like you're hacking the interviewer's brain.

2) It allows you to spend the rest of the interview making your case for why you would excel in the job. As soon as you have the answer to this question, you know what to focus on when providing evidence of your experience and skills.

2. What is the funniest thing that has happened here?

There's no better way to bond with a stranger than over humor. Okay, mutual complaint is probably better, but we'd advise saving the negativity for... not a job interview. Asking this questions helps you forge a personal connection with your interviewer, allowing you to connect one on one. And it'll give you a sense of the office environment and company culture. Plus, it lets you inject some fun into a potentially stressful (for you) or boring (for the interviewer) situation.

A man drawing a graph indicating company goals

3. What goals is the company currently working toward and how can this role/team contribute to them?

Like our first suggestion, this question shows that you're thinking about the bigger picture. You're already invested in the success of the company and thinking critically about your role in it. It shows that you're goal-oriented and business-minded. Bonus points if you've done your research about the company and can demonstrate what you know in the conversation that ensues after you ask this question, mentioning key company achievements, stats, and competitors. You'll knock their socks off.

4. What is the day-to-day like for this position? How would you describe the work environment?

Okay, this is really two questions, but our point here is that you should ask as many questions as it takes to give you a concrete sense of what to expect if you do take this job. You'll be spending a lot of time in this office and putting a lot of yourself into this work, so make sure that you have an understanding of what your new life will be like. It's important that you make the right decision if you're offered the job. Understanding the company culture will play a critical role in being able to do that. Heck, you can even be bold and ask for a tour of the office to get a real look at the inner workings of the company. Do what you gotta do.

An open and collaborative office environment

5. What are my next steps?

The last thing you want is to walk out of an interview and realize that you have no idea what happens next. That's the kind of predicament that ends up with you nervously stress-eating ice cream every day that you're kept waiting. (Is that just us?) To make sure this doesn't happen, it's totally appropriate for you to ask when you'll next hear from the company and how. That way you can calm your nerves and know when (and if) to follow up. Your interviewers' response to this question might also give you a hint as to how they felt about you. If they smile widely and say you'll hear from them the next day, it's probably a good sign. If they tell you not to hold your breath, well... You didn't want to work there anyway, did you?

What's your go-to interview question? Let us know on Twitter @studydotcom.

Looking for more career advice? Check out Study.com's professional development courses.

By Daisy Rogozinsky
September 2018

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