When you prepare for a job interview, it's common practice to take the time to go over some common questions that are likely to be asked. Practicing your answers for these is important, but there's a related step that can be just as important: You should also make sure that you have some questions prepared to ask your interviewer(s).
Asking the right questions shows that you are truly interested in the company itself and the position you are interviewing for and also demonstrates that you are also fully engaged in the interview and conversation. Additionally, asking the right questions also can help to make you a more memorable candidate. Here are three that are usually beneficial to ask in some shape or form.
1. What are the most vital skills sets you are looking for in a candidate who would thrive in this position?
Sometimes a hiring manager may talk about many different skills or various facets of the position in an earlier part of the interview. This question can help to clarify and confirm that you do indeed have the specific skill sets they are looking for. It also can aid in differentiating between the skills that are required, possible "deal breakers," as opposed to skills that are preferred, or something you could learn on the job.
2. What is your favorite part about working for this company and about your position?
Asking a question like this can help hiring managers to remember you as a candidate; simply put, it can make them think a little bit more. Maybe they have to take a step back and contemplate: "What really is my favorite part about working here?" This can also help you to create a strong connection between you and the interviewer. Remember, the job should be mutually beneficial for both parties (you and the employer). This is another great reason to make sure you spend enough time researching the company before your interview – it tends to make it much easier to identify similarities and make connections to your interviewer.
3. Now that we've talked about my qualifications and the job, do you have any concerns about me being able to succeed in this role?
This gives the hiring manager an opportunity to be honest with you and address any concerns that they may have that would prevent an offer being extended. Perhaps he or she sees you as underqualified, overqualified, or maybe just not a good fit for the company. If the hiring manager answers honestly, you can try to overcome any obstacle before you wrap up the interview and depart. For example, if they think you're overqualified, you can explain that your salary requirements are negotiable at this time, you are excited about this opportunity, and if hired, you are committed to succeeding in it.
On the flip side, if there are concerns that you don't have enough experience, take this opportunity to describe how your education and key skills have prepared you for this role and that you are confident you can learn anything you need to quickly. An employer may even be alarmed at an employment gap – if they ask, you can take this opportunity to tell them what you've been doing since you were last employed. Asking the right questions can help to put you in a better light as a candidate and make a strong connection with your interviewer!
Interested in more posts on job search-related topics? Check out our Career Development blog.
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