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Thinking business woman looking up on many bubbles with questionAsk questions of your own in the job interview

Here’s a tip that you should always keep in mind:  Never leave all the question asking up to the interviewer. You always want to ask questions during your job interview. There are three reasons for this:

  • It helps you uncover information you can’t get anywhere else…who’s a better source than the person hiring for the job?
  • It helps you have a more relaxed and productive conversation. The key word here is ‘conversation’. Asking questions will make it feel less like you’re in an interrogation.
  • It shows that you researched the company when you ask informed, thoughtful questions.

But don’t just randomly ask any question. You’ll have a better shot at the job if you know what questions to ask an interviewer.  (It' s another part of interview prep.)  Avoid questions that show your ignorance about the company, or questions that ask for basic information that you could have Googled.

Here’s a look at the top 5 questions to ask your interviewer.

  1. What does your ideal candidate look like? This should be asked near the beginning of the interview, and will give you a strong idea of specifically what type of person the interviewer is looking to hire. It allows you to find out specific desired skills that might not be in the description (who knows who wrote the description or when they wrote it?). Once you know what the manager really cares about hearing, you’ll be able to talk up those related skills you have.
  2. Is there any reason why you wouldn’t offer me this job? This is a hard question to ask and takes a lot of nerve to do. But it’s the only way you’re going to find out if there’s any doubt about hiring you. And it will provide you with the only chance to directly address those doubts and clear them up. Job seekers who ask this question increase their chances of getting hired by 30 percent.
  3. How does this position fit in with the company’s long-term plans? This question opens the door to possible discussion of business strategy, and can give you another chance to sell yourself by showing how your strategies will help the company in the long term.
  4. What are this position’s biggest challenges? Every job has a downside. This question gives you a chance to learn about the downsides without looking like you lack confidence. You can also use the downsides to your benefit by showing how you’ll use your skills to handle the challenges.
  5. Here’s what I see myself doing in the first 3 months on the job.  I’d like to go through it with you quickly and get your input.  OK, that’s not really a question.  But it is something you have to initiate, because most hiring managers won’t ask to see your 30-60-90-day plan.  But once you get that discussion started, the quality of your conversation skyrockets, and they can start to really see you in the job.  They see your knowledge of the job and their company (even if it isn’t completely perfect—that’s OK), they see your strategic- and critical-thinking skills, and they see that you are a go-getter who WILL be successful.  It’s very powerful to have that on your side in the interview.

Make your interview prep easy with our free Job Interview Prep Kit.