5 Questions You Should Ask At An Interview

By Png Han Yong

Congratulations, you’ve landed yourself an interview after weeks of fine-tuning your resume and scouting for that dream job.

In preparation for the big day, you’ve readied your wardrobe and done ample research on the company. On the day itself, you stride confidently into the interview room and proceed to breeze through most of the questions thrown at you.

Just when you think you’ve got this interview in the bag, the interviewer then turns the tables and asks if you have any questions for him. You’re aware that posing no questions could make you look disinterested or maybe even self-assured, but you’d rather do so than ask something irrelevant which might make you look unprepared.

“I am always surprised how some interviewees tend to trail off towards the end of an interview instead of finishing strong and leaving a lasting impression,” says Zachary Rose, CEO and founder of Green Education Services, a green jobs training firm in New York City.

Why ask questions?
There are two reasons for questioning your interviewer. The first is to make a lasting impression on him by asking insightful, thought-provoking questions. A well-crafted question allows you to engage your interviewer on common grounds and turn the interview into a meaningful interaction. The simple act of asking questions shows that you’ve done your homework and are genuinely interested in the job, and can help you to stand out from other jobseekers.

Secondly, by asking questions, you get to gather more information about your potential employer, some of which cannot be easily obtained online. A job interview can be a mutually beneficial experience in that both the jobseeker and employer want to find out if either will be a good fit for each other.

Here are five questions to achieve the twin objectives above:

1. Can you tell me more about the position’s responsibilities?
This is your chance to enquire about the tasks and challenges of the applied position, as the advertised job description might just be a concise version of what you’ll be doing. This question also shows your interviewer that you are aware of the position’s potential difficulties and are eager to find out if you can meet the job’s expectations.

2. How does the career roadmap look like for people in this position?
Instead of asking how quickly one can be promoted in this position, focus on the development opportunities which will be offered. The trick is to show your interest in growing with the company on a long-term basis.

3. What do you enjoy about working here?
This role-reversal question will give the hiring manager a chance to provide valuable insight on the company’s work culture through personal experiences. You could also ask what attracted him to the company in the first place, and why he still enjoys working there. This provides a good opportunity to learn and determine whether the same things that excite your prospective employer appeal to you as well.

4. Is there anything about me that would make you not hire me?
A bold and blunt question but an insightful one nonetheless. This question clarifies if the interviewer is doubtful of you and allows you to redeem yourself by demystifying these hesitations on the spot. You can then reinforce your skills and highlight your key asset while showing your interviewer that you’re able to take constructive feedback in your stride.

5. What’s our next step?
Last but not least, ask about the interviewer’s timeline for making a decision and preferred follow-up method. For instance, some recruiters may prefer emails to phonecalls, so be sure to clarify their desired process. Find out if there are further steps in the hiring process, such as taking a test, and how long you are expected to wait for a callback. This also shows your interviewer that you are keen on this position.

What other questions can you raise at a job interview? Share with us in the comment box below!

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