7 Questions to Ask in Every Interview
By Catherine Conlan
At the end of every job interview, the interviewer will probably ask if you have any questions. What you ask can tell them a lot about you as a candidate and whether you’d be a good fit.
Try to ask at least a few of these seven questions at any interview you have.
• How do you celebrate accomplishments and achievements here?
This question can help you determine whether your values match up with the company’s, says Sabrina Ali a career counselor for under-40 professionals and executives. “If you value being told to add an extra day on to your holiday next week for a job well done, but what the culture offers are words like ‘good job’ or a team drink after work, then work is going to feel like more work.
• From your perspective, what does success look like or mean in this role?
It’s important to remember that a job well done might look different to different people, Ali says. “Ideally what you do and how you do it are a match to what they are looking at as they rely on your role for their success, but often this is not the case,” she explains. “What defines a job well done doesn’t need to be a secret.” By asking, you can figure out whether you’ll be able to sustainably give what the job demands.
• Could you describe your perfect candidate for this role?
The answer to this question is revealing, says career coach Cheryl Palmer. “Once the interviewer articulates for you what the perfect candidate looks like, you can then either reiterate your qualifications for the position or add anything that you did not mention before that directly relates to how your background positions you as the perfect candidate.” It’s a great way to end an interview on a strong note.
• What are your top priorities for the person in this position during the first 30
When you ask this questions, Palmer says, you’ll be able to figure out what the company’s immediate needs are. In addition, if you do get the job, you’ll know what to focus on so you can reinforce the fact that they made a good hire.
• When it comes to work, what keeps you awake at night?
This question shows you’re not afraid of a challenge, says Adam Grunwerg. “You’re focused on making a contribution to the business and helping your boss to succeed,” Grunwerg says. “It’s is a powerful message to be giving, which will make you appear more employable.”
• Are there any shortcomings in my application or interview that I could address
This is a “bold question, but it shows you welcome critical feedback,” says Grunwerg. By giving them an opportunity to raise any concerns that might stand in the way of hiring you, “you can address any weaknesses in your application that you were not aware of, increasing your chance of closing the deal and landing the job.”
• What values do you see in your company’s leadership that have contributed to your
Periscope Employee Engagement Director Tara Meyers says this question gets at two things: “How well does the interviewer know and understand the leadership of the company, and how does the interviewer view success?” The answer can give you an insight into the company’s culture and what motivates and drives employees. “Success through career advancement or development varies greatly at different companies, so it’s essential that growth expectations are aligned between the applicant and the company in order to reduce turnover,” she explains.