As you prepare for your next interview, you’re probably nervous about what they might ask you. But you don’t have to be the only one in the spotlight. It’s common and even appreciated for the interviewee to ask questions, too.
Having solid questions formulated and ready to ask shows the potential employer that you know your stuff. You did the research about the position and the company, and you want to make sure you’re both the right fit.
You might think you’re bothering the interviewer if you have questions. The actual truth is that if you don’t have any, it could look like you’re not interested in the job.
Before you go into the interview, come up with a minimum of two questions to ask. These five excellent questions to ask during your interview show your interest and initiative.
1. What Skills Does the Ideal Person Have for This Job?
It might seem like you’re confused about the job you’re applying for, but asking this question is quite the opposite! When you show interest in what traits the perfect applicant for the position has, you’re being efficient. It may end up saving both you and the manager some wasted time or clear up misconceptions.
Before you get too far into the interview, take a minute to ask what they are looking for as absolute must-haves. Sometimes, it’s hard to read the other person. You can walk away, thinking you have the job in the bag — while they’re moving on to the next candidate.
Opening the conversation to the skills required for the position gives you the chance to walk away if you’re not interested in what it entails. It may be more than you’re willing to learn, or they might want hard or soft skills you are not comfortable with.
On the other hand, this is also your opportunity to spotlight experience you might have forgotten to mention. They already have your resume, but there could be things they are looking for that you didn’t include.
By asking about the skills they prefer, you have the chance to elaborate over and above what you already wrote.
2. What Would I Be Doing on a Typical Day?
The interview isn’t solely about them choosing you or not. It’s also the chance for you to get to know if you want to do the work the position takes.
No matter how much you need or want the job, if you’re going to be miserable there, it’s not worth it. To find out ahead of time if you need to keep job-hunting, ask what you’ll be doing on a typical day.
A job description in an Indeed or other advertisement usually includes surface-level responsibilities. It might sound like a piece of cake, but there is always more that you’ll be expected to do when you get into the position.
Getting familiar with a day in the life of the average person in the potential position can help you decide if it’d be the right fit.
Be careful not to turn down what sounds like a stable job just because there are a few things slightly outside of your comfort zone. It could be your chance to grow!
But if those things are absolutely not something you’re willing to do, now you know to keep moving on in your career search.
3. What is the Culture and Mission of the Company?
What a company values most often correlates to how they treat their employees. This is one question that will require a little investigating, too.
You can ask, and a forthright manager will be upfront with their answer. Some companies focus on the bottom line and making a profit. Others are client-oriented, and the customer comes first. There is no wrong focus; it just depends on those in charge and their purpose.
Many times, the culture of a company is visible in the behavior of the employees and managers. It’s also evident in the steps you’ll go through during the interview and hiring process.
How those who already work there interact with you and their coworkers is one sign. Watch to see if they’re friendly and seem to enjoy their job, or if they obviously would rather be anywhere else.
For most people, the best scenario is to find work in a family-centric organization. If the mission and culture support family-first, it’s usually a good indicator that they’ll appreciate you.
4. Will There Be Opportunities to Grow Professionally?
The question of professional growth opportunities is a crucial one if you are ambitious and looking to advance in your career. Some people thrive on growth and change, and if you’re stuck in a job for too long, it can lead to discontent.
Everyone can invest time and energy into personal growth and their own skill development. A company that offers professional opportunities is looking to foster initiative. The leaders in those places appreciate qualities like determination and dedication.
When you ask about professional development activities offered and the outlook for moving up in the company, it sets you apart. You show that you’re different than those who are willing to accept complacency.
5. What Will the Next Steps in the Interview Process Be?
After an interview, the standard process is for the applicant to go home and sit around, waiting for “the call.” It might be one that says they hired someone else, or you might have gotten the job!
But do you really want to sit around and wait nervously with no idea where you stand? By asking the simple question of what to expect next before you leave, you can get a general idea of where you stand.
This shows you’re interested in the job after the interview is over and are preparing for the next requirements.
A quick brush off in the form of, “Don’t call us; we’ll call you” pretty much says to keep the job hunt going. If they give you a clear idea of their hiring process, you may have made the cut!
Whether you’re in dire need of work or you’re simply looking for a change, you should approach a job interview as professionally as possible.
However, you are not the only one under scrutiny. It’s up to you to ask the right questions to see if you want the job in the first place and to show that you’re the perfect candidate if you do.
These five questions will put you in your best light while still giving you the chance to walk away if the job is not a good fit.