Asking the Right Questions at Your Interview

Everyone goes to an interview prepared to answer questions, but do you ever prepare to ask some?

A few questions later, your interviewer would ask, ‘if you have any questions’. Now, if you are half as good as they need you to be, you would have a few queries lined up for them. If not, then you must be wondering what kind of questions should you ask them and do they really expect you to ask questions?

Let’s answer all your questions so you are locked and loaded to land your dream job.

Should You Ask Questions?

Yes. You must definitely ask questions.

Lack of queries or questions from a candidate shows he hasn’t done adequate research and illustrates a lack of interest. Questions related to growth, recognition and promotion are essential, and should be addressed.

What to Ask Them?

In the simplest of terms, it is going to be your career and the questions you ask may vary from industry to industry. For example, you may ask them what the biggest success their company has had in the following year. This would depict that you are curious to know about future of the organization and whether its scale of operations is suitable for you.

Other important questions you should go prepared with include:

  • What skills do you see a candidate needs most to be successful in this position?
  • Where do you see the company heading in the next 3-5 years?
  • What has been the reason others in this position have struggled?
  • Is there an internal succession plan for developing employees who want to advance?
  • What does a typical day for someone in this position look like?
  • What are the biggest obstacles to overcome in this position?

Other than these questions, any relevant queries that you may have should be cleared with your potential employer.

Time Factor

A job interview is like a dance between the interviewer and the applicant. If you handle your questions tactfully and impress the interviewer while remaining true to your job objectives, a highly suitable arrangement is possible.

The timing of your questions should be strategically planned meaning that the most important questions should be addressed first and you should take your time developing the questions in an order that increases your employability rather than hampers it. There are questions you should ask in the first interview and then there are others that should be left for another day. For instance, queries regarding benefits and holidays can be left for the final interview.

Tips To-Go

Be charming and add a little sense of humor, but don’t overdo it. Many applicants ask questions to lighten the mood such as ‘how long before I sit on the other side of the table?’, but the tone of delivery and making sure the other person understands your humor is important.

Don’t get carried away with your line of questioning. When you ask the interviewer a question, it typically starts a conversation and this is the time when you need to maintain your composure the most.

Preemptively develop a list of questions you intent to ask your potential employer. Do your research and stay on top of your game.

The questions you ask show the interviewer your intent/purpose behind the job. Confidence and communication skills are two things every organization desires in their employees and asking the right question at the right time showcases both. In a nutshell, the only thing you shouldn’t question is your right to ask a question!