What Questions to Ask in a Job Interview

Just as important in preparing the answers to potential job interview questions, you should also keep in mind what questions to ask the interviewer.

Many job seekers have the answers to potential job interview questions ready. Something many don’t realize is that when you go into your interview it is actually two ways. Yes, you need to answer their questions and sell yourself as qualified candidate, but your own questions can actually be just as important. Asking the right questions will show your interest in how you may fit into the company. In contrast, asking the wrong questions can make the interviewer uncomfortable and will eliminate you as an employee prospect quickly.

Asking questions at a job interview goes two ways.
Asking questions at a job interview goes two ways.

Usually the interviewer will offer you the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the interview or you may end up asking questions throughout the interview. Either way you should ask some good questions. Many companies will view you asking questions as your interest level in the job.

What to Ask

Now is your time to shine. If you feel that you haven’t left the impression you are were hoping for you can use your questions to steer the interview in a more favorable direction. If you have background information about the industry from its business website for small business , or its advertising on its internet affiliate market partners, you can bring up topics the company is facing and even offer suggestions. This is especially useful when you are specific to the department you are interviewing for. It shows that you have the ability to solve your boss’s problems.

Learn more about the job position. Questions can involve what the average workday is like, who you will be working with, what it takes to succeed in the position. Ask the interviewer why they like working there. See if this really is the job that you are looking for and one you will do well in.

Ask questions to address any issues. You can directly ask the interviewer is there are any doubts they may have about you or how you compare to an ideal candidate. This will give you the opportunity to address and resolve these issues. This will help the interview end well. Lastly, ask what the next step in the interview is. This shows that you take initiative. It also will help you know what to expect over the next week or so and when the company will contact you.

What Not to Ask

Poor questions are actually worse than no questions. Definitely do not discuss salary, benefits, and promotion timetables. These types of questions are for second interview when the company is offering you the job and you need to know the details to compare your employment opportunities. If this is not the situation do not bring these up.

Make sure not to showcase your ignorance. Avoid any questions that could easily have been answered with a simple Google search before you came in. What do you do? This is probably the most infamous question. Do your research and know what the company does, what it specializes in, what its future looks like.

Do not ask questions about proprietary information. It is ok to ask about the mission of the company or the vision for the workforce. It is not OK to ask information about their current market share or their products compared to competitors. This is private information that they will not share with you and it actually might be offensive.

Avoid red flag questions. Asking if the company runs background checks, if there is monitoring software on emails, or if there is an internal whistle-blowing system are all very poor questions. They will indicate to the interviewer that you will be a problem in one of these areas even if that is not the case. If you really need to know about this, chances are you will be able to find the information online. It does not matter if you were the top of your class with an Accounting Degree you will lose the job by asking these question during an interview.

The biggest takeaway is to come prepared. Have questions in mind as you enter your interview and you will find both you and the interviewer gain more from the experience.

job interview image by Wikimedia Commons


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