Asking questions during an interview is an opportunity to stand out. By asking insightful questions, you showcase your positive energy, attitude, and strengths you’ll bring to the table.
Furthermore, these questions allow you to evaluate the company. The information you gather can help you to decide whether or not the job is aligned with your career plans.
Unfortunately, some candidates end up asking questions just for the sake of asking something and lose out the opportunity to really stand out:
How is your organization different from your competitors?
What are the strategic goals of the company for the near future?
Consequently, questions like these can have a negative impact on the recruiter because they show your lack of research.
Instead, ask questions that highlight your strengths as a candidate and get more information on how well the job fulfills your requirements.
Here are a few topics that you could focus on:
This is an excellent way to show that you’re already looking forward to the challenge of the role and want to succeed.
If I get the chance, what exactly would you want me to accomplish in this role within the first six months?
Is there a specific challenge that you’d want me to resolve within the first month?
Although you should come prepared, you can still use questions like the ones below to indicate that the company is very much within your career plans. You could start your research on LinkedIn or Glassdoor.
I saw on Glassdoor that a lot of reviews praised your organization’s focus on external training. Would external training be made available to me in this role? If so, when?
Geopolitical changes have made Pacific routes a little cost-prohibitive. Is your company looking into alternative routes for shipping purposes?
Learn about the interviewer to imply that you’ve enjoyed the conversation you have had so far and it has encouraged you to consider the company strongly.
I saw from your LinkedIn profile that you’ve worked here for seven years – What have you liked most about working here? What has kept you here?
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to address in your time here?
This is a great opportunity for you to learn about how the interview has gone so far and what the interviewer thinks about you.
Is there anything you would say I need to work on to succeed in this role?
Which of my skills do you think I’d need to further polish to help you meet your quarterly objectives?
Another very good strategy to end the interview on a positive note is to ask industry-specific questions. Above all, this strategy can help you demonstrate your subject-matter expertise.
Here are some of the questions you can ask to elevate your chances of landing the job depending on the industry you’re interviewing for:
Marketing (or Sales)
I’ve been following the last few marketing campaigns your company has implemented. I particularly really liked the athletic footwear campaigns you have been rolling out. What was the X-factor you think which made these campaigns so successful?
Would I be working with the people that worked on those campaigns?
What metrics will be used to measure my performance?
Given the importance of innovation in this industry, do you nurture a start-up sort of cultural environment to encourage innovation? (If yes…) What does that entail, exactly?
Here are some interview questions that you can prepare for as an IT candidate.
I read that you recently worked on (describe an ambitious project that the company worked on). What do you think made it successful?
Where do you think the project could have been improved – and do you feel there’s anything I can do to ensure the success of similar ambitious projects?
Are there any company-specific processes you use to help maintain compliance with the latest laws and regulations?
What metrics do you employ to evaluate employee performance?
What steps have been taken to keep employees motivated?
Basically, there are three things you should keep in mind when asking questions:
1. Ideally, your questions should refer back to a certain topic you have discussed during the course of the interview. This reflects that you’re engaged in the conversation.
You mentioned I’ll be responsible for putting together contracts. Would those be strictly sales related?
2. Questions that can be answered in “Yes” or “No” are good to ask for your personal peace of mind, but they don’t necessarily underscore your strengths as a candidate.
Do I have to do night shifts permanently?
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for the job, especially if the interview has gone well.
I was excited before our interview, but now I’m even more keen on beginning. Can you tell me what your next steps in your hiring process?
Moreover, read the room – do they seem keen on having you on board after you asked this question? If so, you can ask:
Are you able to extend me an offer?
This works really well for “aggressive” fields like sales.
If you’re having a hard time preparing for interviews, email me at email@example.com about your unique situation. I’d be happy to help you brainstorm.
However, if you prefer a longer session, invest in our one-on-one interview coaching session with our HR SME by filling out the form here. She has years of HR experience and can help you talk about your unique history in a way that clicks to interviewers.