Great interviewees don’t just want to know what interviewers think; they want to know what the company plans to do and how they will fit into those plans.
A chance to ask questions at an interview allows you to demonstrate to prospective employers that you are thinking from the perspective of someone who is already part of the organisation. Asking the right questions separates exceptional job seekers from the average. It shows that you’re interested in the opportunity, not just a pay cheque.
Here are our top seven questions to help you gain deeper insights into the role you’re applying for and stand out.
1. What do I have to do to succeed in this role?
As an employee, you are essentially an investment to your employer. And it will be expected to generate value for the company in return for your salary. One way to achieve this is by exceeding performance indicators, and asking about those indicators is a great way to show that you don’t just want a job; you want to thrive in your position. Successful professionals will want to know what truly makes a difference in an organisation, and they understand that helping the company succeed means that they succeed as well.
2. Do you think I will be a good fit for the company?
Asking this will show an employer that you are eager to succeed in the role and are an individual who strives for success in whatever you set out to do. It’s one thing to ask objective questions about your aptitude for a position, but asking for a subjective opinion shows your openness to constructive criticism, especially as the person who interviews you for a job will often end up being the person you’re working with directly under.
Having their opinion of you from the start helps forge that relationship down the line, and the question itself also tells the interviewer you are serious about the job and forward-thinking in nature. True warriors at work embrace challenges and plan around tackling these challenges.
Related: 5 ways to handle interview nerves
3. What are some of the challenges that the predecessor faced in this role?
This question can be scary but also beneficial. While the interviewer might not expect it, the answer will be telling. A straight, direct and positive affirmation with an explanation would be a good sign. At the same time, a hesitant reaction should be taken as a red flag.
Remember, the interview is as much about you assessing the company as it is about the interviewer assessing you. Savvy interviewees will always want to know what they are in for – understanding the immediate challenges of the job will help determine if it is a role in which you can truly excel.
4. What are you hoping to see from the next person to fill this role that was missing previously?
A question like this will demonstrate your ability to address and tackle possible problems before they even surface. The answer can shed light on what might have made the last person lose or leave the job, as well as tip you off on the path to success.
In an interview, you are selling yourself as the perfect potential employee, so it’s vital to demonstrate that you are a team player interested in excelling at what you do and what your colleagues value.
5. Do you have any reservations about my fit for the position that I could try to address? Is there anything that is missing from my CV that you need?
Asking an interviewer if something is missing or of concern on your resume is an excellent opportunity to address any gaps before your potential employer makes a decision.
Not only does it give you a chance to resolve any hesitations the employer might have about you, but it also demonstrates that you can take constructive criticism and are eager to improve – valuable qualities in any new employee.
This is a good practice even if you don’t get the job, as it shows you what you might add to your resume before your following interview, particularly if you’re applying within a specific industry.
6. What would you like to see this role producing in the future? Are there any roles similar to this one that you’re looking to fill soon?
Ask your interviewer where the role will be headed in the next month, six months, even up to five years. This shows you are ready to hit the ground running on any upcoming projects and are already trying to see where you can fit in and what you will be expected to start working on.
If it’s a temporary or contract position, are there any other similar positions you can keep your eye on? Suppose you know your contract is coming to an end soon and you would like to stay on board. In that case, you’ll already know what similar roles are available. It’ll give you the chance to prepare to apply for another role at the company.
7. What is the company culture like? What is your favourite thing about it?
It’s important to know the finer details, like the expected dress code and how the people in the company relate if you want to see how you’ll fit in with them. The social aspect of a company structure can be incredibly vital to forming lasting and productive relationships, and asking about that during the interview shows that you’re thinking long-term.
It’s also useful to gauge from a current employee what they think of the company before you come on board; even if you’ve done your research on the company, an insider perspective will give you a deeper understanding.
Are you ready to make your next career move? Get in touch with our recruiting experts now.
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