Most job seekers are so fixated on answering interview questions correctly that they often forget to ask questions of their own, which is just as, if not more, important. Asking smart and thoughtful questions allows you to get more out of a job interview in two ways:
- Asking the right questions gives you an opportunity to verify your credentials and qualifications as an ideal candidate.
- You are interviewing the employer as much as they are interviewing you. This is an opportunity to learn more about the organization and determine if it’s where you want to work.
Because of the sheer number and variety of questions you can ask in a job interview, many employment agencies suggest narrowing down your questions by setting objectives. Ideally, your questions should focus on:
- Eliminating any doubts the interviewer may have about you
- Showing how interested you are in the position
- Determining if the job and employer is an ideal fit
Below are a few examples of good questions to ask.
What skills and experiences do you need from a candidate?
This open-ended question allows you to get right down to business and get a clear picture of what exactly the organization is looking for in a potential candidate. If your interviewer doesn’t talk about something that concerns you, seize the opportunity to ask this question.
What challenges does your staff face on a regular basis and how can I help?
This question shows interviewers you’re a team player right from the get go. It also encourages them to envision how your skills and experience would fit in the organization, placing you a step closer to being hired for the job.
What’s the best thing about the working for your company?
This question allows you to break the ice and talk about the job in a more intimate manner, encouraging the interview to share her feelings about the organization. It also gives you an insider look on how happy (or miserable) people are with the company. If the interviewer can’t seem to give you a straight answer, take that as a huge red flag.
What do you measure success for someone in your organization?
Interviewers like people who think about their future with the organization, so use this question to express your interest, not just in getting the job, but thriving in the company.
A good rule of thumb is to prepare three to five questions for each interview, making sure to ask them all. However, you should also be ready to ask more questions in case they’re answered during the course of the interview, or if your conversation allows you to field more inquiries.