There are two reasons for asking questions at a job interview. The first is to make a lasting impression on an employer 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 have done your homework and are genuinely interested in the job.
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 you should ask 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 will 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 me unsuitable for this position?
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 are able to take constructive feedback in your stride.
5. What is 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.