Job interviews aren’t just about answering questions. Here’s what you should be asking in a job interview, and why it matters!
Last year, when I had started applying for jobs after completing my post graduation, it pretty much took over my entire online life.
In fact, it took over my social media too: I stumbled upon a Reddit post on the morning of a job interview.
It had a simple premise: a question.
More specifically: What are some of the good questions to ask in an interview?
The answers were eye-opening, yes. But what really widened my vision was the idea that you were allowed to ask questions at the end of job interviews when they ask if you have any.
I asked a couple of the questions at the interview I went for. I got the job. Obviously, this consequence had something to do with my resume, my experience, my work samples, and more.
But I think that my decision to ask these questions gave the (good) impression that I was enthusiastic, assertive, and willing to show initiative.
Here is a review of questions to ask at the end of every job interview, and a few more that you should consider including in your interview prep kit!
What Does A Typical Day Look Like For Someone In The Position I Am Applying For?
Truthbomb: Job descriptions are rarely encompassing, let alone detailed when it comes to the Key Performance Indicators of the role you want to fill.
By asking this question, you are inviting the interviewer to go into greater detail about the day-to-day tasks required of you, the learning opportunities, the intersection of skills you would require, and what your deliverables are.
This question is great because it doesn’t just help you understand the position, it also helps you narrow your job search. It certainly helped me finalise the job I wanted in one interview, and also helped me realise that I wouldn’t be the best candidate for another.
What Is The Team I Will Be A Part Of Like, And How Is It Working With Them?
Jobs can sometimes be described in a silo, without defining the team structure or the work culture. Either can blindside you when you first step into the company, and therefore, it’s a great idea to know whatever you can about them.
The answer to this question can give you a really good idea of how the company sees its employees, and what is valued. Even if the interviewer may not offer the most honest answer, the language they use can be pretty indicative.
Do they speak kindly and constructively, or do they simply weave together a few epithets which rely more on the value an employee provides? Is their language implying that they care more about the work an employee does, over who the employee is?
These are things better known before you decide to take up the job, especially if it is your choice to work at the latter variety of company. Nobody wants a rude shock with regard to work culture!
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What Are The Opportunities For Growth That Would Benefit Both Me As Well As Your Organisation?
Definitions of work have been changing for a while, and one of the major alterations is the expectation of growth at work.
Not many are happy with working in a purgatory where they push papers and learn nothing for the remainder of their career. And there is good evidence to show that companies that invest in upskilling employees reap the benefits of doing so.
So go ahead and enquire about the opportunity for growth, and the chances of receiving on-the-job training, mentorship, and further learning at the organisation. You might be surprised to know the answer is often more concrete than you expect!
What Challenges Do You Foresee For Someone Who Fills In This Role?
Don’t be afraid to play up your confidence, because it shows that you are assertive and willing to face challenges.
It also allows you to come into your role aware of potential obstacles, and with an idea of how you might overcome them. These are valuable insights that can really smoothen out the process of joining a new organisation.
The presence of a challenge is not inherently a bad thing and can be a big part of learning something on the job. This may eventually end up becoming a part of your skillset, and add value to your own work experience and resume!
Plus, if an interviewer is reticent about giving you a well-rounded understanding of your role – challenges included – then that’s an important red flag to look out for. A company should not have anything to hide from someone they wish to hire.
Are There Any Concerns You Have Regarding My Application That I Can Resolve Right Now?
There’s a lot of subtexts involved in job interviews, and sometimes, we miss out on an opportunity to clarify a concert that could land us a job because we are afraid to put the interviewer on the spot.
But this question reflects your desire to build meaningful communication which is a great soft skill; one of the top ones in the market right now.
By asking this question, you are demonstrating your ability to communicate constructively, and your willingness to fill in the gaps which are often created through miscommunication.
This question also has the added bonus of training you to accept that sometimes, you are not what the organisation is looking for. That’s not a failure on your part, but a learning experience! In asking this question, you can deflect the dejection that often accompanies rejection.
So now you know what questions to ask the interviewer in a job interview, and add a little something extra to your professional profile as a candidate!
What Are The Next Steps In This Process?
The post-interview period can be anxiety-inducing, and companies can end up taking their time getting back to you. Asking this can allay your anxieties by providing you with a rough timeline of how the interviewer expects to proceed.
It also helps wrap up the interview on a forward-looking note since the question isn’t abrupt for either you or the interviewer.
Approach an interview as a conversation rather than an interrogation. And that means answering questions on both sides, and more importantly, taking initiative on yours.
It should end with you feeling like you’ve covered all your bases. You shouldn’t feel like you’ve missed an opportunity to clarify a concern or to resolve the interviewer’s doubts.
So go ahead, make that job interview count by adding these questions to your arsenal of interview tricks!
Last updated 5th Aug’2021
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