Many people go into job interviews expecting something akin to an interrogation. Oh, they understand that there will be key interview questions to determine whether they’re a good fit for the job. Still, many job-seekers expect that questioning to be much more difficult than it generally ends up being.
The fact is that job interviews shouldn’t be terrifying. After all, it’s not like an action movie where the hero ends up with a bright light shining in his face while questions are screamed at him by his interrogators.
Just as important, that questioning is anything but one-sided. Yes, that’s right; the hiring manager shouldn’t be the only one asking questions. You should be asking questions as well! In fact, your success may depend on it, since asking the right questions can boost your chances of securing that job.
But what type of questions should you ask? We have the answer to that question! Here are 9 key interview questions you can ask in your next interview to increase your odds of landing that job.
Questions to Ask at an Interview
“Would you like me to clarify anything?”
It’s not enough to just answer an interviewer’s questions and get to the end of the interview. In fact, none of that will matter if you were at all unclear in your answers. By asking whether they need anything clarified, you can help to ensure that they fully understood your answers and have the information they need to make a great decision.
Of all the 9 key interview questions, this is the one that can help focus the hiring manager on your qualifications. He or she may realize that there are other questions that need to be answered. So, be sure that you are properly prepared to answer. Along with this question, there are other questions that you may want to ask – so prepare for those as well. To help you prepare, use business writing tools like Easy Word Count or Grammarix.
“What can an individual in this role achieve in six months / a year / ten years?”
Remember, an interview isn’t just about determining whether you’re right for the job. It should also help you determine whether the job is right for you. This is a great question to help you make that determination. It can provide valuable insight about the company’s structure, and opportunities that might be available in the future.
Be on the lookout for vague, uncertain answers, or answers that suggest that there is no path for career progression. That could be a clear indicator that the company culture is weak or stagnant. Keep that in mind when you’re trying to decide whether to take the job.
“What are the most important qualities to have in this role?”
This question can help you to better illustrate your qualifications. It enables you to directly match your skills to the job’s requirements. Remember, every job will have a set of key traits that you must have to achieve success in that role. It could be leadership, creativity, or even an eye for detail.
If the answer includes traits that you already possess, that’s a great sign that you’re a good fit. If not, you may need to draw upon related skills and qualities, or accept that the job might not be right for you.
“Do you have any concerns regarding my qualifications?”
You need self-confidence to ask this question, since it invites the interviewer to critique your strengths and weaknesses in a direct manager. Still, Kathryn Castro, a Recruiting Consultant at Ukwritings, suggests that there are real benefits to this approach:
“However, by giving the recruiter the opportunity to discuss anything that was playing on their minds, you’ll have the opportunity to prove yourself. This question can also be changed to address any work gaps you might have in your career or gaps in your education.”
“Does the company offer courses or continued learning opportunities?”
Of course, this question is only relevant if you plan on building a career at the company and view the job as something more than a temporary solution for immediate joblessness.
The good news is that this simple question can offer a great deal of insight into the company’s culture. It will reveal how the company feels about investing in its workers and could give you a hint about where you might be in five years’ time.
“Why does the position matter to the company?”
If job satisfaction is your number one concern, then this is one of the 9 key interview questions that you simply must ask. And let’s be honest – on a certain level, job satisfaction is an important concern for all of us.
With this question, you will gain valuable insight about how the company views your role. Is it a priority for management and leadership? Is it considered a critical part of operations? More importantly, how will you fit into the company’s short and long-term plans?
“What are the biggest challenges facing individuals in this position?”
This and similar questions about the position offer important insight as well. You already know that every job has its challenges. With this question, you get those challenges out on the table, eliminating future surprises. That can help you to determine whether you’re up for the job, possibly saving you and the business time and money.
Perhaps more important, however, is the image that this question helps to convey. By focusing on the specific challenges that need to be overcome, you will reveal your competence and indicate that you have strong problem-solving skills.
“Why do you enjoy working for the company?”
Though there are 9 key interview questions you can and should ask an interviewer, this has to rank near the top of my list of favorites. Look, it’s not common for job-seekers to ask this question – and there’s an advantage there. It immediately puts the interviewer on the spot, and often leads to some very useful insight about the company’s culture. Just watch the reaction and listen to the response, and you’ll learn everything you need to know.
“Do you need me to do anything else?”
This is a great question to ensure that you have done everything you can do to improve your odds of getting hired. It can also help you to stand out from the crowd, since any job candidates are too eager to end the interview once the last questions have been answered.
Besides, it is important to know whether there are additional steps. Interviewers may sometimes forget to tell you important things, and that could cause you to miss out on the opportunity when there are deadlines involved.
You should also make sure that you have the interviewer’s contact email, so that you can ask additional questions if they come to mind later. When emailing, you can use writing tools like Boom Essays and Essay Roo to make sure the emails are professional and accurate.
Of course, it may seem odd and out of the ordinary to ask an interviewer these types of questions. However, there are clear benefits to doing so. Moreover, you don’t want to do what everyone else is doing! You need to stand out from the crowd and ensure that you’re seen as a cut above your competition. So, be fearless, ask these 9 key interview questions, and watch those job offers come rolling in!
Guest Post by Gloria Kopp
Gloria Kopp is a human resources manager at Academized. Shes is writing career columns at The Tab and Paper Fellows blog. Gloria has recently launched Studydemic blog where she shares her professional tips and tricks with students.
The ZipJob team is made up of professional writers located across the USA and Canada with backgrounds in HR, recruiting, career coaching, job placement, and professional writing.