Your job interview is almost over. Your pulse rate is returning to normal, and you’re looking forward to wrapping up the most stressful part of the hiring process. One more bit to go: time for your questions for the interviewer.

This can often feel like an add-on, a polite courtesy from the person who has spent the last half hour grilling you about your background. But don’t speed past this portion of the process. It can represent an important moment in determining whether you will eventually become an employee of the company.

How to Ask Winning Questions During an Interview

Take time to craft strong questions to ask an interviewer. You should have two main goals in mind:

  1. To discover important information about the job and the company that didn’t get covered in the recruiting process so far.
  2. To project a certain image to the interviewer, hopefully adding to their conviction that you’ll succeed in the job.

Given these objectives, there are a few pitfalls you should avoid. Here are some tips to keep in mind to help you sidestep potential traps:

  • Don’t ask a question that could be answered easily somewhere else. This just wastes time you could better use asking a more relevant question. Example: “When was this company founded, and how many employees does it have?”
  • Don’t bring up topics you don’t really want to talk about. Instead, use questions to highlight your strong points. Example: “At a previous job, I got fired for taking home office equipment. What’s your policy here?”
  • Don’t skip this portion of the process. Rather, you should always plan on asking something. Example: “No, I don’t have any questions today. Thank you.”

How to Prepare to Ask Questions at an Interview

Don’t attempt to improvise your way through your questions. Instead, grasp the opportunity this part of the interview provides. Here are a few steps you should take to prepare to ask the best questions possible:

Research the Company: Learn what you can about the company, using resources like its website and social media feed. With this knowledge, you can craft specific questions for the individual firm.

Have Questions Prepared Ahead of Time: Make a list ahead of time and mark off questions if they are answered during the main part of the interview.

Take Notes During the Interview: Questions might occur to you during the interview. Write them down. This will help you keep the conversation going when it’s your turn to deliver queries.

Specific Questions to Consider

Now that we’ve looked at the overall process, here are a few specific questions that make sense in most interviews:

Can you tell me more about the company’s culture?

If culture hasn’t come up during the interview, you definitely want to learn about it now. This way, you can gauge whether you make a good fit for the organization.

What are some of the challenges faced in this position?

You’ve likely heard many of the selling points for the job. Try to get an idea of what some of the pitfalls are as well.

How do you measure success in this role?

Show them you are serious about excelling. This question will give you an idea of what skills make for a great employee. At the same time, you will signal your interest in going beyond the minimum requirements for the role.

What do you like best about working here?

Engage your interviewer directly. Try to make a personal connection without straying too far from the core topic of conversation.

Ready to put your interview skills to the test? It helps when you know you’re a great fit for the position. A top recruiter, like SmartTalent, can steer you towards situations that are perfectly suited for your skills and background.

Contact SmartTalent today to learn more.

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