We spend so much time researching companies and preparing our responses to likely interview questions that we can forget how crucial it is to think about the questions to ask at a job interview.
Ultimately, what you ask a hiring manager is equally important to how you articulate your responses to their interview questions. Your line of questioning provides an indication of how you think and your values. Be sure your questions aren’t too self-focused and instead try to uncover the hiring manager’s pain points in an effort to convey how your experience can add value.
During the initial meetings, you should stick to questions that are related to the organization, the business, the department and the role. It’s essential to demonstrate that you’re thinking in broader terms and have a genuine interest in joining the company, and that you’re considering ways you could fit into and improve the business.
Following are my top 5 candidate questions to ask at a job interview:
- What are the company’s biggest priorities?
- What does success in this role look like six months or a year from now?
- What are the biggest challenges your department is currently facing or will be experiencing?
- What is the single most important priority for the person in this role?
- What competencies do you think are most critical to be successful in this position?
Steer away from the “what’s in it for me” type of questions until the interview process has advanced to the stage where it’s clear you’re the preferred candidate. At that time you can bring up the following topics:
- Vacation time
- Timeline for raises and / or promotions
- Flex time
- Working from home
- Employee recognition programs
Employers want to know “what’s in it for them” and every question you ask gives them more of the information they are seeking. Be thoughtful in your line of questioning to demonstrate that you’re a serious candidate with a strong interest in joining their organization.
Read this Forbes article for insight provided by members of Forbes Coaches Council on unique questions to ask at a job interview. You’ll be sure to distinguish yourself from the competition!