3 Questions You Should Be Asking in a Job Interview
Posted June 14, 2018, by Sam Woolfe
Job interviews can often feel like quite high pressured and anxiety-inducing situations, especially if we’re being interviewed for a job we really want. But with a little preparation, an interview can become a lot easier to handle. It’s crucial to be prepared not just to answer any questions that the interviewers ask you but to have some meaningful questions to ask at the end. You could have the most amazing interview ever, yet if at the end you have nothing to ask – or nothing to ask that goes beyond clichés – then it can really jeopardise your chances of getting the job.
The questions you ask the interviewers should help give you more insight into what the role and the company are like, and, in turn, whether both will be a good fit for you. Here are questions to bear in mind. And remember – you don’t have to ask all of them. That can appear unnatural. Instead, go with the question that is most relevant to the interview you just had – naturally, other questions will follow.
- Question 1: “What would you say you enjoy the most about working for [insert company]?”
If you want to find out the best thing about working for the company, then ask the interviewers’ their opinion on it. The good thing about having multiple interviewers is that you can get different opinions – someone may like the social benefits of the workplace, while another person may feel motivated by the fact that their collaborative work makes a positive impact in society.
This is a very useful question to ask because it can reveal the benefits of working for the company that may not have been touched on during the interview. It’s a chance for the interviewers to give an honest and personal view of the company’s culture and its vision, and this will help you figure out whether this aligns with your goals and values.
- Question 2: “What have previous [insert role] gone on to do?”
The interviewers want to know what your long-term goals are, as should you. If you haven’t been asked the difficult and perhaps very open-ended question of where you see yourself in five years, you can ask the interviewers what previous employees with your role have gone on to do. This will allow you to see the kind of possible career progression in store for you, as well as other career paths that this job can present you with.
You may have high ambitions and want opportunities for quick career progression, learning and refining specific skills, or a future position that allows you to make more of a difference. This is why it’s important to know what previous employees eventually choose to do some years down the line. If they tend to do many different things – staying in the company in a similar or a different role, or moving to a different company or industry – this may highlight the kind of flexibility that you’re after.
- Question 3: “Is there anything that makes you think I’m not a good fit for the position?”
This may seem like a strange question. Why would you want the interview to end on a negative note, with a focus on your shortcomings? Well, because these are the things you have to account for and improve on in order to be the most suitable candidate for the position. If you’re willing to be honest about your weaknesses and forthrightly address them, then this will impress the interviewers. It will show that you’re eager to do the job to the best of your ability.
Many of us struggle with the question about what our greatest weaknesses are, so taking the initiative to have these pointed out to you is a sign that you care about career development, rather than just taking any job you can get. Of course, you have to be ready to handle the answers. Maybe they will be a blow to your confidence or self-esteem. That’s okay. What matters is that you process the answers and try your best to understand their point of view.
If an interviewer points out their concerns about your lack of experience, then offer a relevant example from a past job, or perhaps a positive attribute that you have, that shows how you can overcome this challenge. Besides your job application, the interviewer may also bring up answers you gave throughout the interview if they believe they cast doubt on your suitability for the position. This would be your chance to clarify or elaborate your answer and win the interviewer over.
As always, have questions ready that you genuinely want to know the answers for, not questions that you feel expected to ask. In this way, your sincerity and passion will come through, which will be greatly appreciated by the interviewers.