The Importance of Asking Questions During an Interview
By Taylor Varco
When preparing for the interview process, many job seekers focus their energy on how they are going to answer questions, they forget something very important: You’re also there to ask questions. Asking the right questions at an interview is important for three key reasons:
-Confirm your qualifications for the position
-Demonstrate interest in the employer
-Ensure culture fit and that the opportunity is right for you
There are an infinite number of questions you can ask, but if you stay focused on these three goals you will set yourself up for success. Typically, you should prepare 5 questions and ask 3. It’s likely a few of the questions will be answered throughout the interview. Below are some good examples you can use in your own interview process.
What skills and experiences would make an ideal candidate?
This open-ended question will encourage the interviewer to lay their cards on the table and state exactly what they are looking for. If they mention something you haven’t covered, now is your chance to address it.
Do you have any hesitations about my qualifications?
Asking this question does come with some risk. However, you’ll show you are confident in your skills and ability to take on the position.
What is the single largest problem facing your business and would I be in a position to help you solve this problem?
This question shows you are interested in the business, are already thinking about how you can help the team, and it encourages the interviewer to envision you working in the position.
What constitutes success at this position and this organization?
Asking this question shows your interest in being successful at the company, and the answer will show you both how to get ahead and whether it is a good fit for you.
What can you tell me about your plans for growth?
This question should be customized for your particular situation. Do your homework on the employer’s website and mention a new product or service to demonstrate your interest. The answer will give you a good idea of the state of the company and where the employer is headed.
Ensure Culture Fit
Who previously held this position?
This seems like a simple question, but it can tell you whether that person was promoted, fired, if he/she quit, or if it’s an entirely new position. That will provide a clue to whether there’s a chance for advancement, if employees are unhappy, of if you’ll be taking a more active role in creating a new position.
Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with?
This question will tell you about the people you will interact with on a daily basis, and dynamic of the team structure, so listen to the answer closely.
What have you enjoyed most about working here?
With this question you’ll allow the interviewer to connect with you on a more personal level, sharing his or her experience. The answer will give you unique insight into employee satisfaction. If the interviewer is pained to come up with an answer to your question, it’s a big red flag.
Finally, your last questions should always be:
What’s the next step in the process?
Asking this is essential. It shows that you’re interested in moving along in the process and invites the interviewer to tell you how many other people are in the running for the position.