If you’re like most job seekers, when you’re invited to an interview for a job, you’re likely focused on what questions the employer is likely to ask you, and how you will answer them. But have you considered that the interview is also a time for you to ask questions?
Job interviews are not a one-way street. Yes, the employer wants to know if you’re a good fit for the company, but you’re also there to find out if the job is a good fit for you. The job interview offers you a golden opportunity to learn more about the company, the team, and the role at hand. So when you’re inevitably asked, “Do you have any questions for us?”, seize the moment. Here are seven critical questions that can help you make a lasting impression while gathering important information.
1. What does a typical day look like in this role?
Landing the job is not the end-all, be-all, here. Once you’ve landed the position, you need to know something about what your day-to-day life will look like in that job. Asking this question shows your interviewer that you’re serious about understanding what will be expected of you. It also gives you a chance to peek into your potential future, understand your daily tasks, and determine if this is the kind of work you see yourself doing.
2. How would you describe the company culture here?
Workplace culture can greatly influence your job satisfaction and career growth. By asking this question, you can get an idea of the work environment, team dynamics, and the company’s values. The interviewer will invariably tell you positive things about the company culture, but you can learn a lot by listening to how they answer the question. Do they stumble over their words? Do they avoid eye contact? Or do they answer confidently and enthusiastically? How does the answer make you feel? This can help you decide if this is an environment where you will thrive and feel comfortable.
3. What opportunities for professional development does the company offer?
Your interest in professional growth shows ambition and a vision for your future. This question helps you understand what kind of learning opportunities the company provides, whether it’s further training, conferences, or opportunities for promotion. Plus, it sends a message that you’re viewing this job as a long-term investment, not just a stepping stone.
4. Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with?
The people you work with can significantly impact your job satisfaction. This question not only shows that you’re a team player and are keen on forging strong professional relationships, but it also gives you a sense of the team dynamics. The response can help you gauge if these are people you can learn from, grow with, and look forward to working with.
5. What are the biggest challenges facing the company/department right now?
This question shows that you’re not just interested in the good, but also ready to tackle the bad and the ugly. It demonstrates your problem-solving mindset and readiness to contribute positively to the company. Plus, it gives you a realistic view of the current challenges you might face in your role and how you might be helpful in providing solutions.
6. How do you measure success in this position?
Understanding how performance is measured can help you hit the ground running from day one. This question shows your dedication to doing well and your focus on meeting and exceeding expectations. It also helps you understand what specific achievements or milestones the company values.
7. What are the next steps in the interview process?
Ending the interview with this question shows that you’re eager to progress in the selection process. It sets clear expectations for follow-up and demonstrates your serious interest in the role.
Remember, an interview is not just about answering questions—it’s about asking the right ones too. By posing these questions, you encourage your potential employer to share valuable insights about the company culture, job role, and growth opportunities. You’ll also present yourself as a professional, someone who has confidence in your abilities and has a desire to make a positive difference in the company.
Of course, there’s a lot more to do to prepare for a job interview (not the least of which is landing the interview!), so if you’re looking for some guidance in finding the right job openings for you, I’m here to help. Simply schedule a complimentary initial consultation for yourself on my calendar here.