5 Questions to Ask on a Job Interview

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You just received the call that you were waiting for, that you have been selected to interview for the position of your dreams. Right now, you have all of those questions that they may ask you running through your mind, ones like “Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?” and “What are your greatest strengths/weaknesses?” and “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

However, it is important to remember one of the most important ones: “Do you have any questions for us?” This inquiry serves two purposes: it shows the interviewer what intrigues you about the organization, and it helps you determine if this is in fact a strong fit from your perspective as well.

What Have You Enjoyed Most About Working Here?

The answer to this question will tell you a lot about the culture of the organization as well as what types of things your interviewer values, which are especially important if this person is your potential supervisor. This response will also communicate to you what has led to this individual’s successes with the organization. Once you have your answer, consider if those values fit yours. Of course, if the response is not very positive, that is an obvious and significant red flag.

What Challenges Will the Person Filling This Position Face?

This question also allows you to more accurately envision what working for this organization in this position will be like, warts and all. Perhaps you did not realize that your position requires non-conventional hours or that you will need to run an office with meager resources. Of course, do take into account that you may not be presented with the whole truth here. Meanwhile, be a little skeptical if you are told that there will be no challenges.

What Should Be the Top Initial Priority for the Person Who Accepts This Job?

Although you likely have your own ideas of what your first few months on the job would be like and you likely communicated those at some point in the interview, the answer to this question should take precedence as it is clearly what is most important to the person who would be hiring you. One benefit of this exchange is that it helps you know exactly what would be expected of you in the early going. Conversely, if you are told that this person would be expected to get significantly more things done than you feel capable of doing, that’s a warning sign.

Which Aspects of This Position Would You Like Performed Better than Have Been in the Past?

This question allows you to discover what things the interviewer is likely focusing on when deciding who to offer the position to. This is more apt to be the case if the person who previously held it was let go. The answer to this question will also help you determine if you possess the skill set that would allow you to be comfortable in this position. However, do remember that if your particular skill set does not match up perfectly with the answer to this question, it may still allow you to do this job at a high level, just in a slightly different manner.

Do You Have Any Hesitations About Hiring Me?

The benefits of asking this question are twofold. One is that you can discover any reservations that they may have about you that you did not realize existed and, as a result, respond to them. The other is that many interviewers are impressed with interviewees being so willing to have their vulnerabilities out in the open and that, by asking this question, you appear to be quite coachable.

Many recommend being prepared with five questions and asking roughly three of them, simply because you will likely have already received some answers by the time you reach that step of the interview. Lastly, do make sure to find out what the next step in the process is if it has not been brought up yet.

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