October 10

Questions to Ask at an Interview That Will Improve Your Answers On the Spot

Ask questions of your own in the interview

To get the job, you need to do more than answer all the questions fired at you by the hiring manager (the interviewer, or your future boss). In order to be more effective in selling yourself for the job, be sure to ask questions in the interview, too.

Why You Need to Ask Questions  

The job search is a sales process. You’re the product and that hiring manager is the buyer.  You’re trying to show why it will benefit them to ‘buy’ you, or hire you–what do they get out of it? That’s more than just communicating that you have experience and background. You’ll never ‘make a sale’ without understanding the wants and needs of your customer, beyond the job description. And you can’t understand unless you ask.

Key Questions to Ask

There are certain key questions to ask in an interview that can give you a big edge and present you as the most thoughtful, strategic- thinking candidate.

What you ask can mean the difference between being one unmemorable face is a line of hundreds of job seekers, to having those golden nuggets of information you can use to present the hiring manager with the information she’s most interested in hearing. They’re clues to what the ‘magic words’ are to unlock the job offer.

Near the beginning of the interview, ask something like: What are you looking for in a candidate? What does your ideal candidate look like?

This is not always obvious from the job description. The description may not be completely updated, or the hiring manager may be most concerned about one particular aspect of the job. Maybe they’re gearing up for a new project or culture change.

When they tell you what they care about most, you can ‘sell’ to those specific points. For everything they list, try to bring up something from your background that illustrates your skill with it or otherwise corresponds with it and answers their need.

questions to ask interviewHere’s a Secret…

There’s one crucial question that could increase your chances of getting the job by 30%.

Near the end of the interview ask, “Can you see me being very successful in this role?”

Another way to ask is, “Is there any reason why you wouldn’t offer me this job?”

Asking these kinds of questions is called closing for the job.

Asking this kind of question takes nerves of steel, but the payoff can be huge.

This is your only way to find out if there’s any doubt about hiring you. And if there is, you can clear up that doubt right away. If you leave while they still have doubts, you can kiss that job goodbye.

More Questions to Ask In an Interview

Here are a few other questions to ask in an interview and the reasons why they’re so great.

  • Can you describe a typical day for someone in this position?
    This can help you decide if the job is a good fit, understand what would be expected of you, and help you tailor your answers to best show you’re the person for the job by showing you what experience or situations to highlight from your past.
  • Looking ahead to the next couple of years, what are the potential growth areas that people in the company are most excited about?
    This can tell you if there’s room for growth, if the company is stable and if there’s the possibility for advancement. If there’s room for growth and advancement, you can present your skills in such a way that you’ll show the hiring manager you’re there for the long term and be a great asset to the company.
  • If you were to narrow the field to two final candidates, with equal skills and experience, how would you choose one over the other?
    The truth might be that the one with the lower salary might be chosen. And the hiring manager may not tell you this. But you could still find something worth knowing.

The bottom line is this:

Asking questions helps you uncover information you need to know in order to sell yourself for the job.

*****Find more information about how to ask questions in the interview and how to close for the job.


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