Nowadays, jobseekers often forget that interviews are a two-way street. Beyond just impressing your interviewer and moving on the next stage of their selection process, it’s very important to remember that interviews are your perfect chance to learn more about the company and role you’re applying to. And asking the right interview questions will help you do just that.
When done right, doing so can make you look even better as a candidate. It will show them that you’re taking this process seriously and are willing to do your research. Not only that, but the right questions can help display your intelligence and sense of practicality.
Below are 6 questions you can ask that can help you get better clarity on the job—and make yourself look good in the process:
1. Could you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of the job?
Why This Works: It concretizes your daily tasks, and gives you an idea of how to operate on a more realistic scale.
2. What is the single largest problem in [insert company here] and would I be in a position to help you solve this problem?
Why This Works: It gives you a clear picture about the company’s biggest problem. By learning ahead of time how you can concretely solve that problem if you get that job, you can learn how to prioritize being as useful as possible in the least amount of time.
3. What have you enjoyed most about working here?
Why This Works: Asking this multiple times from multiple interviewers acts as freehand research about why it would be fun to take this role. If you’re lucky, a consistent answer will give you a realistic view of what to expect to enjoy about the job—and if it’s something you’d like, as well.
4. What’s your least favorite part of working here?
Why This Works: Similar to #3, framing the question in terms of the personal experience of the interviewer helps concretize what your possible challenges are—and assessing if you’re up for tolerating them in favor of being able to work at that company. Since no company is perfect, take their answers with a grain of salt.
5. What constitutes success at this position and the company at large?
Why This Works: Since you want to make sure you’re effective if ever they should hire you, it’s better to ask ahead of time how the company measures success. Is it in terms of sales, or growth? Do they prefer candidates who follow the rules, or who constantly innovate? Learning your possible KPIs ahead of time can give you a better match between your skills and their needs.
6. What are you hoping for your new hire to accomplish in the first three months on the job?
Why This Works: It’s important to manage expectations, not just for the employer, but with yourself as well. If you’re like any enthusiastic applicant, of course the ideal goal is to be so effective at the start of your employment that your new company would wonder why they took so long in hiring you.
In reality though, this is much harder than it looks. By framing their expectations of you in the 1st 3 months of the job, you can strategize how to tackle your inevitable learning curve in a measurable, time-bound way.
Curiosity Doesn’t Always Kill The Cat
At the end of the day, asking the right stuff is just part 1 of rocking your next interview. By displaying your curiosity and knack for asking smart interview questions, we’re sure you’ll be well on your way to landing that dream job in no time.