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Making the Most of Your Interview

Monday, August 15th, 2016

In our blog we’ve tackled the interview process in the past. We’ve discussed how to conduct your pre-interview research, as well as how to prepare for an interview. In those preparations, we touched on being armed with good questions to ask your interviewer. Today, we’ll discuss this in more detail.

It’s important to be prepared and answer all questions to the best of your ability. However, when that moment arrives at the end of the interview where you’re asked if you have any questions of your own, this is your chance to put the cherry on top of what was already an outstanding interview.

Here are five questions we think professionals should consider asking at the end of an interview. (Hint: it doesn’t include “When do I start?” or “How much will I make?”)

1. What’s the culture of the company like here?

This is a no-brainer. First off, you need to know this. Being a good fit is crucial to job satisfaction. But it also lets your interviewer know that you’re about more than just the dollars, and that the environment you work in is important to you.

2. What are the biggest requirements/challenges for this role?

This is a classic question, one that proves you’re thinking ahead. Like with the culture, it’s always nice to know what lies ahead in case you’re offered a position. You can follow up by asking whether or not the person hired will have any specific long- or short-term goals.

3. What type of candidate is the perfect fit for this position?

While you’ll probably receive generic answers here—for example, something about “strong work ethic”—listen closely for what else you might hear. An answer about personality or attitude will give you a good idea about expectations, which will come in handy if you’re offered the position.

4. What opportunities are offered for professional development?

This question shows you’re thinking ahead. While knowing the answer will be helpful, this is definitely one that will impress your interviewer, simply from the standpoint of expressing interest in your professional future. Companies are always looking for ambitious employees, right?

5. Why did you choose to work here?

This is the most unconventional question in the list, but it turns the tables in a way that allows you to learn much more about the company. It’s also a great way to trigger a conversation with your interviewer, and to establish a personal connection.

Prepare with intent to discover

These are five of our favorite questions, but we’re confident you can come up with plenty more on your own. The key is to consider these questions beforehand so that you’re not grasping for ideas in the heat of the moment at the end of your interview. With questions like these, your goal should be simple: learn as much about your potential employer as possible, all while impressing them in the process.

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