Job interviews are arguably some of the most nerve-wracking experiences that people will go through in their lives. While some people look at job interviews as a way to GET the job, sometimes I can’t help to look at it as a way to LOSE a job. If the employer has invited you to interview, they already see you in the job; now they’re just making sure you deserve it.
In almost every interview, you will get the final line “Do you have any questions for us?” This is your time to shine. You want to show the hiring committee that you’re invested in the company, that you’re thoughtful, and that you really want the job. Here are 9 questions that will help you keep the job that is screaming your name.
1. What project do you see me working on in the first 3 months?
This shows the interviewer that you are already trying to get an understanding of the role that you will play and what your responsibilities will be. You can even ask for 1 month, 3 month, and 1 year projections to show that you are thinking more long-term.
2. What do you think my biggest challenge will be in the first 3 months?
This shows your employer that you are trying to understand what roadblocks you might come across and hopefully find ways to address them before they become a problem. Having someone who is self-aware and willing to troubleshoot is key, as it helps reduce the likelihood of persistent poor performance in the future.
3. What do you think the most rewarding part of this job is?
As much as the interview is designed to help the employer decide if you’re the right fit, it’s also the chance for you to decide if this is the place you want to be. Asking this question will help you understand if this job will reward you in the ways that you want to be rewarded.
4. I read on the company website that employees have recently done presentations at XX conference. Is that a typical opportunity in the job for which I am interviewing?
Doing your research is key! Dig around and try to find out what the company is currently doing or any unique opportunities that may be open to you once you’re in the role.
5. What do you most enjoy about your work with this organization/company/agency?
Asking this question works as a two-way street. Firstly, it helps you to understand what are the best parts of the job, which ultimately helps you decide if this is truly a place you want to work. Secondly, and more importantly, it conveys that you care about your coworkers and what they gain from their employment.
6. If I am selected for this position, what will your working relationship with me entail?
This helps us to understand that you are considerate of the team dynamics that are present in most workplaces. You understand that teams require a give and take, and you’re already showing you want to see how you fit in.
7. What is the organization’s policy on providing seminars, workshops, and training so employees can keep up their skills or acquire new ones?
By asking this question you’re telling me that you’re always willing to learn and grow! This is important, especially if you’re trying to enter a sector that is constantly changing, like media or tech!
8. Is there anything I said that was unclear?
This is all about you. This allows you to take one last opportunity to clear the air. Interviewers won’t always ask you to clear things up, but it’s good to put it on the table.
9. Can I take a moment to reiterate why I care about this job?
Some of my best impressions of candidates have come from the moments when a giant grin spreads across their face as they explain why they are passionate about the role. If your interview was strong, for me this acts like a cherry on top of the perfect sundae.
DON’T ask about benefits and salary unless they bring it up.
DON’T ask questions that are obviously answered on their website. It’s a waste of their time.
DO ALWAYS ask questions. It sends the message that you aren’t invested in the job if you are radio silent.
Keep in mind that I am only one hiring manager of many in this world and that my personal preferences certainly will not be true for everyone. One thing is for certain – if you’ve gotten an interview, the hiring committee has decided that there is a job waiting for you, now all you have to do is prove it. You’ve done all the right training, you made it to the starting line, and the podium is in sight. Now, all you have left to do is run the race, so run like the wind and don’t look back.