Don’t approach your job interview like it’s a test. You’ll do better if you approach it like it’s a conversation. They want to find out more about you to see if you’ll be a good fit for the job. You need to find out more about them to see if the job is a good fit for you. And, you need to give them the necessary information to feel comfortable hiring you. Asking questions keeps that conversation going and achieves all those goals. Here are 10 great questions to ask in a job interview.
Question to Ask #1 – What would an ideal candidate for this job look like?
Don’t be afraid that you won’t measure up. Nobody will match their ideal. What you’re looking for here is their wish list. Maybe it’s a little different that what you read in the job description. Job descriptions don’t hire people; hiring managers hire people. What does this hiring manager care about? Use that extremely valuable information to guide what you talk about for the rest of your interview. Knowing what key things they care about will help you highlight the most relevant items in your background.
Question to Ask #2 – What traits does a successful person have in this organization?
Organizations have personalities and common values. What does this company value? This question gives you more information to help you highlight how you’re a great fit for the organization.
Question to Ask #3 – What will you expect from a new hire in the first 3 months of this job?
The conversation after this question should open up a clear path to introducing your 30-60-90-Day Plan. Take this opportunity to show this hiring manager what you plan to do in the first 3 months. You will stand out over other candidates. Find out why a 30-60-90-day plan will knock their socks off.
Question to Ask #4 – Does this company usually promote from within?
Some companies prefer promoting from their own ranks and bringing in new people on the bottom. Others like to bring in new blood at higher levels. Find out where this company falls on that scale so you know your chances of moving up in that organization.
Question to Ask #5 – How does this position fit with the long-term goals of this company?
This is your chance to get an overview of this job in the view of the larger organization. How much value does the company put on this role? How secure is this position? Can this position lead to long-term growth for you? Find out all these things and more with their answer to this question.
Question to Ask #6 – Where are the biggest needs for improvement and how do you see the person in this role contributing to that?
Their answer could give you an easy way to tell them about a quality or experience you have that could help you contribute to those needed improvements.
Question to Ask #7 – Tell me about the person who had this job before me. What were their positive or negative qualities that factored into their success or failure in this role?
This answer gives you a blueprint for success. Was this person a runaway success? Emulate some of those qualities or strategies to be successful yourself. On the other hand, if this person was fired or demoted, learn a lesson from their mistakes and take care not to repeat them.
Question to Ask #8 - How will the person in this position be evaluated and who does that evaluation?
Get huge insights into the keys for success in this role. What will you be graded on? Who will be managing you? This is important information.
Question to Ask #9 – Why would someone want to work for this company instead of your competitor?
Give them a chance to sell you on this company! Another way to ask: What do they like most about working here?
Question to Ask #10 – Based on our conversation so far, can you see me being successful in this role?
This question uses a technique called closing that significantly boosts your chances of getting the offer. If they say yes, you know you have an advocate for you after you leave. If they say no or they’re not sure, ask what they see as your weaknesses. You may get a chance to resolve those issues right there and save your offer. If you’re not comfortable with a bolder question like this, soften it up by asking, “Can you see any reason I wouldn’t move forward in this process?”
Be strategic in every job interview! Check out my Strategic Interview Approach for a comprehensive plan to prepare and perform in any interview to get the offer.