Asking questions during the interview is just as important as answering them. Not only is it important to ask questions in order to learn more about the company and the job, but it also shows the interviewer that you are interested in the job. How you ask your questions in the interview is very important. While asking the right question at the right time will make you look smart and prepared, asking the wrong question at the wrong time could make you look bad. For example, you wouldn’t want to ask a question that has already been discussed. Be sure to pay attention at all times throughout the interview to avoid an embarrassing and costly mistake.
Here are five tips for asking the right questions during your job interview:
- Collect Information
- Show Interest
- Impress the Interviewer with Your Knowledge
- Find Out If the Job Is a Good Fit
- Questions Not to Ask
Let’s take a closer look at how to ask questions during an interview.
In order to make the right decision about the job it is important that you have all the information. After all, an interview is as much about you interviewing the employer as it is about the employer interviewing you. Before the interview, read over the job description and write down any questions you have about the job itself. It is likely job duties will be discussed in detail throughout the interview, so be sure to pay attention so you don’t ask a question about something that has been discussed.
- What does a typical day on the job look like?
- What qualities does a person need in order to be successful in this position?
- Can you give me examples of projects I could be working on?
Most employers try to keep their employees around for a long time. It is expensive to hire and train new employees, so when businesses hire someone they want it to be long-term. That is why it is important to show the interviewer that you are interested and excited about the position and the possibility of building your career at the company. Ask questions that show that you are expecting to stay with the company for a long time. The best way to get a good idea of what to expect from the company is to ask the person interviewing you about his or her personal experience. You can also ask about the experiences and career paths of other employees who work in the position for which you are interviewing.
- What do you enjoy most about working here?
- Are there opportunities for advancement?
- Where can someone starting in this position expect to be ten years from now?
Impress the Interviewer with Your Knowledge
The more you know about the company going into the interview, the better. As you research the company, think about questions you could ask that show you have done your homework. Asking questions about new products and services, company initiatives, or projects and future growth plans is a good way to show that you read up on the company and that you are truly interested in what is going on at the company.
- Where do you see this company in the next ten years?
- Can you tell me more about (new product or service)?
- I read that one of your company values is ___. Can you tell me how you see that value carried out on a regular basis?
Find Out If the Job Is a Good Fit
Perhaps more important than salary, benefits or job duties is the company culture or environment and how well you fit in. Every company has a different culture, and it is important that you fit in and feel comfortable, both for your well-being and your success at that company. Just being at the company for the interview should give you some sense of the culture, but you can also ask questions during the interview to get more information. Nobody knows you like you do, so trust your gut when deciding whether or not the company culture is right for you.
- Can you tell me about the team I will be working with?
- How would you describe the work environment here? Is work done more as a team or independently?
- What is different about working here compared to anywhere else you have worked?
Questions Not to Ask
We’ve all heard the expression, “There’s no such thing as a bad question.” Unfortunately, in a job interview that is not the case. Just as the right questions can help give you an edge over the other candidates, the wrong questions could actually cost you the job. Avoid asking a question to which you could find the answer on the company website or by doing a simple Internet search.
Do not ask about pay and benefits during the interview. Although this information is important, you should wait until you receive an offer to ask about this type of information. Finally, avoid asking questions that could give the interviewer a bad impression of you. For example, asking if the company does background checks will likely make the interviewer think there is a reason you are asking and maybe you have something to hide.
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