Six Good Questions to Ask During Your Job Interview

So you’ve managed to successfully navigate your way through a seemingly successful job interview.  From showing up on time to dressing the part to showing off master in your field by thoroughly touting your skills and experience, things sseemto be going well.  The interview may be slowly creeping to a close, with dreams of job offers, bonuses and retiring to a tropical desert island dancing wildly through your head.  That is, until the much-dreaded awkward pause in conversation, or if the interviewer turns the tables and asks if you have any questions for them.

At some point in most interviews you’ll either be called upon or have the opportunity to ask questions of the hiring manager or interviewer.  Rather than dreading this moment or *GASP* being caught unawares, having a go-to well of questions from which to draw can mean the difference between ending your interview on a dud or performing an employment version of a mic drop.  With that in mind, here are six good questions to ask during your job interview.

1. How Would You Define Success in the Position?

Our first question is a double whammy for both making a great impression and setting yourself up for future success.  Asking how you can make an impact, what it takes to perform your job well and how you can be an employee superstar before you’re even in the door sets a great tone to your potential employer.  You’ll also have an idea of what you need to do in order to ace your performance review once you score an offer.

2. What do You Enjoy About Working Here?

Another insightful question that will have your prospective employer looking forward to your hire date, wanting to hear about the positive qualities of a position shows that you’re interested in the long haul.  Phrase this question generally, rather than specifically asking about pay, benefit or advancement opportunities.  In addition to coming off as professional, you may also end up genuinely surprised by insights into company culture or perks.

3. What are the Biggest Challenges of the Position?

Asking about the hurdles you may have to face in your new role instantly portrays you as a team player, a big plus for your would be employer.  Asking about problem areas or challenges also provides an opportunity to draw parallels to previous positions or your individual skills or experience that you could use to tackle the demands.  Bring in these personal touches in order to score big bonus points with the hiring manager or interviewer. 

4. How Have Previous Candidates Been Successful in this Role?

Asking about the accomplishments of those that have come before you is a multi-faceted strategy for gauging your own performance.  By asking this question you’ll have a better handle on how hard the performance bar is set.  This question also sets up a conversation about why the position is open which can help encounter potential landmines.

5. How is This Company Unique?

Asking this question will give you some valuable insight into what insiders of your prospective employer think sets the company apart from others in their field.  Savvy job candidates can use this information to ensure they’re making good employer choices when confronted with openings across their desired field.  If you’re currently employed, compare these qualities between companies to help make close calls on leaving your existing role.

6. How Do I Compare to Your Ideal Candidate?

Sure, the last on our list of good questions to ask during a job interview may be a bit…leading.  When all else fails, however, it’s often best to take the direct route to getting a solid assessment of your chances at scoring a job offer.  This type of question can often lead to surprising and frank questions regarding your strengths, weaknesses and an insight into how you appear to future interviewers.  If you’ve performed particularly well during the interview, you may even get a hint as to an upcoming offer, or at least info on how you stack up to other candidates.

Article Updated from the Original on November 1st, 2017