8 questions to ask at an interview

Getting ready for an interview? I know how stressful it can be… I’m just coming out of an intense period of interviews as I was looking for a new position. Believe me, I get it!

I had to find a job in Marketing within 1 month… Challenge accepted!

But happy news: I finally found a job! I’m free from the stress and the repetitive interviews, preparations, etc. Therefore I thought, it could now be interesting to share some useful information for anyone currently looking for a new job. I will probably do a serie of theme around job search and interview, starting with this: What question should you ask to your interviewer?

My first advice would be: Don’t forget that an interview is a 2-ways interview! It’s not just you being interviewed, but it’s also you interviewing the interviewer. Keep in mind that an interview is a discussion between you and a company in order to fill a position in the company. Which means that the interviewer will ask you questions to see if you fit in the company and if you are suitable for the role BUT it’s also for you to ask YOUR questions about the company, the position and the industry. An interview will also be your way to check if a position is suitable for you.

Therefore, it’s important to ask questions and make sure that you have all the information you need to take a decision about the role you’re applying for. It’s also important to ask questions to your interviewer to show them that you are interested in the position and you take this interview seriously. It’s showing your motivation and your commitment to the role you might potentially fulfill.

I would suggest to always try to finish the interview with YOU asking the last question. The best way to do so? Have some questions ready! So when the interviewer asks you: “Do you have any other questions?” at the end of the interview, this is your moment! Take the opportunity!

Of course, don’t ask something if the question has been answered during the interview already, because it would let the interviewer think that you haven’t paid attention to what has been said.

Ideally, try to avoid questions where the interviewer can answer with yes or no, as it would lose the impact or it would cut the process short. At the contrary, try to ask questions which would require the interviewer to give you further information to what has been said during the interview itself.

Here is a list of 8 questions to ask at an interview.

8 questions to ask at an interview
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8 questions to ask at an interview

1. “If you hire me, what skills do you think I should improve or acquire to be ready for the position?”

This shows your motivation! It means that you are actually considering seriously taking the position and you are asking for a feedback to improve yourself in order to be ready for the position as soon as you start… Even if it requires to acquire new skills. It shows the interviewer that you are ready to further educate you with missing skills to give your best for the position. This question is also helpful to get a feedback on the interviewer’s opinion about you.

2. “Could you describe a typical day in this role?”

It is generally better to ask this question to the person currently in the position or to the person you would be reporting to directly. This question has for goal to help you have a better understanding of the role itself and it should give you a better idea of what you will be expected to do on a daily basis. This should help you decide if this is something you could imagine yourself doing daily and if you would like it.

3. “What do you expect me to accomplish in the first 3 months in the position?”

This one is a great way to help you get a better idea of what the company is expecting from you in the first few weeks/months/year if you join the company. Depending on the answer of your interviewer, you’ll know if you think you can fulfill these expectations or if the challenge is too easy/too high or if it’s not something you are interested in.

4. “What would be the most important qualities to have in order to excel in this position?”

This question is really helpful to get an answer from the interviewer on the profile of the ideal candidate without putting you at risk. If the answer is: the most important qualities would be good with numbers & analytics, organized and great management skill but you know you hate numbers, then it gives you an indication that this position might not be the right one for you… And it’s completely fine! We all have our strengths and weaknesses!

5. “What are your key goals for this year and how do you expect me to contribute to it through this position?”

This question shows the interviewer that you are interested in the company, its strategy and you want to see how you can contribute to it. If you show interest, the interviewer will consider you as an interesting candidate. It will mean that you care: if you’re implicated, the interviewer will associate you to the thought of you giving your best to help the company achieve its objectives for the year. If you care, you will be seen as a hard player and a motivated person!

6. “Could you tell me more about the culture of the company?”

This question is purely important for you to know if you would be suitable for the company. Do you like the value of the company? Would you like the working environment? Etc. Remember: an interview is a 2-ways discussion! It’s also for you to see if a company would be the right match for you!

7. “What are the biggest challenge faced by (the department you’re applying for/the company) and why?”

This is a great way to get more information on the way the department or the company works. It’s also really useful to see where the problems are and give you better information to decide if this is a challenge you are ready to take or if it’s a no-go. It might also give you some information about the collaboration between teams, colleagues or departments. Really helpful to have a better overview of the way the company works and all the processes.

8. “What are the next steps of the interview process?”

If this question hasn’t been answered during the interview already, it’s a good idea to ask so you know what will come next and what you can expect from the interviewer. It will give you more input on how to follow up with the interview and will show the interviewer that you are interested in the position.

Here it is for today! I hope these questions will be useful to you and will help you with your interviews! I have received quite a few compliments from interviewers when using some of the questions above, so I hope it will help you impress your interviewers as well!

And you, what are your favorite questions to ask during an interview?

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