7 Questions to Ask an Interviewer

Asking questions is a vital step for any job-seeker in an interview. You may think that asking questions makes you look unprepared, but the opposite is usually true (unless you are unprepared!) Having several specific questions in mind before you go to your interview can ensure that you end the interview giving a good impression. If things brought up during the interview intrigue you, ask about them. If you feel like you have a good grasp on things, ask questions anyway. Even if you land the job – and even once you’ve been on assignment – you won’t know all there is to know about it.

With that in mind, here are seven basic questions to pick from for your next interview. Asking two or three questions like these can set you apart from the pack and get you one step closer to getting the job.

1. What does a normal workday for this position look like? This question can reveal a lot about the job that’s not listed in the job description. It can also demonstrate to you the level of knowledge the interviewer has about the job itself. And, asking it shows that you’re interested in more than a paycheck and benefits.

2. What does your typical day at work consist of? People love talking about themselves. Asking this question not only gives the interviewer a chance to share about themselves, their answer can show you how much someone in the position you’re interviewing for would interact with you on a daily basis.

3. What is the biggest challenge someone in this position typically faces? This is one of the tougher, more insightful questions you can ask. It may put the interviewer on the spot, but it also shows that you are thinking critically about the job. The fact is, there are challenges in any job, and showing that you know that and are willing to face them is a great trait for any job seeker to demonstrate.

4. What are the opportunities for career growth in this organization? You probably don’t want to tell the interviewer that you want their job in the next two years. Believe me. I’ve sat in interviews where job candidates said that, flat out. (They didn’t get the job.) But demonstrating that you’re interested in career growth shows you’re committed to your field and the organization. And, the interviewer’s answer can also tell you a lot about whether this is an organization you really want to join.

5. What is the growth plan for this company in the next five years? Asking this question shows that you can think beyond yourself and your job. Managers are held accountable for their department’s contribution to the company’s goals and bottom line, so asking the interviewer about the company’s plan for growth not only shows your business acumen, it can tell you a lot about the stability of the organization you’re considering tying yourself to.
 

6. Why is there a vacancy for this position? This can be a tough question, but it’s often worth asking. If there are personality conflicts or management issues in a department, and someone left for those reasons, this is a great time to find out. Sometimes, a position has been created because you’re joining a growing team or a person left because they were promoted. Both are answers you deserve to know.

7. When can I expect to hear back from you? If you don’t ask this, you might never know. You can end up spending a lot of time waiting by the phone if you don’t know the interviewer’s schedule for filling the position you’re seeking. It can also help you know when to follow up or send a thank you note. For example, if they’re planning to make the hiring decision that day, you’ll want to send an e-mail or leave a note at the front desk as opposed to mailing it.

Remember, the interview is also your chance to find out about your potential employer. If you land the job, you’ll spend a lot of time and energy working for the company. That’s why you need to make sure you want the job, fit with the organization’s culture, believe in its mission and understand its goals. So, on your next interview, take the opportunity to ask meaningful questions.

What questions have you asked in past job interviews? Were they a hit or a flop?

Comments

  1. jeremy robb

    how could i impress?…
    i am a high school drop out with a little over a year work experience. the last employer i had was very impressed at what he saw in me, to were i would be trusted to do more then what i have had applied for. getting laid off due to company termination, i was given a recomendation each from both of my supervisors. yet it has been so hard for me to find a new job.
    any advise for my situation

  2. William Burke

    Hello Jeremy,
    I have to offer my advice after reading your post.
    Please don’t take offense to this because it is said only to benefit you.
    The first thing that jumped out at me when I read your post is the format in which you wrote it.
    Employers notice the way you write.
    When you do not start sentences with a capital letter,it sticks in there minds that you may be un-educated (whether you are or not is beside the point at this stage)
    First impression are everything.
    You have to be able to sell yourself to potential employers.
    You need to be able to stick out in there minds when they are making there hiring decision.
    With that said,let me be personal with you.
    I had only a highschool diploma when I started working.
    I found out quickly that it was simply not enough.
    I attended vo-tech classes at night learning air conditiong and now hold a apprenticeship license.
    The employer I was working for ( I was a low paid helper)saw my potential and paid for my schooling.
    I ended up staying with that company for six years until I moved out of state.
    I would highly suggest going back to highschool to receive your diploma or at very least your G.E.D
    There are night classes available if you need to work during the day.
    Seriously,do it now…the longer you wait,the harder it becomes (I’m 37 now,I was 29 with two children when I attended vo-tech and it was TUFF!)
    I hope this helps and good luck!

  3. Greg Krause

    Jeremy,
    My advice to you is, finish your education. I know you have reasons for dropping out of highschool, but to be perfectly honest with you, most employers are not going to cut you any slack no matter what your excuse is.
    They see you as a quitter, someone whom they can not rely on to finish the job. They may be VERY wrong and you are a go to kind of guy who will impress them alot, IF they ever gave you the chance which alot will not.
    You do not want to be 25 years old and working the drive through window at McDonald’s.
    Get your GED, or better yet, do night classes to finish your high school education and get the diploma, means alot to employers, then see if you can get some state or local financial help to attend a training program. Try the local unions, you could be a carpenter, welder, plumber, electrician in no time and be making the kind of money you have only dreamed of.
    Good luck!

  4. Tiffany

    Jeremy,
    Thanks for your comment. And William and Greg, thanks for your responses!
    I think this is a great question, and there are many ways you can keep growing your skills and qualifications when you’re in your job search. Getting your G.E.D or high school diploma is a great place to start. You can also get additional training through vo-tech programs or other training and skill-building opportunities. You may be able to get temporary work as well that could offer you some new experiences or help you develop new skill stes.
    Express Personnel helps many people locate temporary and permanent jobs, so you can check with your local staffing representative to learn more about how Express may be able to help you. To locate the office nearest you, check out our interactive map at: https://www.expresspersonnel.com/us/locations/us/
    Best wishes in your job hunt – I think asking questions like these is a great place to start, so it looks like you’re on your way.

  5. Brian

    Jeremy, I notice that, and also I notice alot of people when using a single “I”, they use a small “i”. When the I is by itself, it is always a capital I. This is one of my pet peeves about e mails and blogs. This could also be a negative for employers. So Jeremy and people in general, please use proper spelling. This will go along way in impressing employers and people in general.

  6. Anonymous

    I just want to emphasize the good work on this, has excellent views and a clear vision of what you are looking for

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