Questions to Ask On Your Next Job Interview

Questions to Ask at Job Interview

Contrary to popular belief, a job interview isn’t a one-way street. In fact, letting an interviewer ask you all the questions without asking a few of your own generally puts you into the discard pile! As your interview wraps up and that all-important question comes up, “So, do you have any questions?” – yes, the one that’s worse than “tell me about yourself” – consider asking a few of these questions to show that you’ve done your research and you’re truly interested in the job.

Question 1: “How would you describe a typical day in this position?”

Why you should ask it: This question is a great jumping off point for other areas of inquiry, giving you the opportunity to get a feel for what you would actually be doing on the job beyond the basic job description. After all, a summary of the job doesn’t necessarily include the day to day tasks and might not tell you who you’re going to be working with, who your supervisor might be, or what your expectations should be for how many hours you might put in for various individual tasks throughout the day.

Question 2: “What are the opportunities for growth and advancement in this position?”

Why you should ask it: Asking about growth indicates that you have your eye on the prize personally but, more importantly for the interviewer, it shows that you won’t just work at the company for a couple of months and then leave for bigger and better things. Talking about growth and advancement indicates that if you’re hired, you’ll be committed to the company.

Question 3: “Why did the person in this role leave? What did they go on to do?”

Why you should ask it: Employee turnover can be indicative of poor management, so it’s an important question to ask for your own benefit. At the same time, it does sound kind of negative – asking about what the past employee in this position did next can help give the impression that you want to know how this company can help employees grow and succeed.

Question 4: “Can you describe the company’s management style? What about the general office culture?”

Why you should ask it: The culture and management of a company can be vital to your happiness and personal success. If it doesn’t mesh with what you want, you’ll probably end up looking for another job fairly immediately. Discussing this aspect of the company with your interviewer shows that you understand the importance of shared interpersonal styles and goals.

Question 5: “How is the success of employees measured? Is there a review process and opportunity to get feedback on performance?”

Why you should ask it: This question shows that you’re not only open to constructive criticism, but you’re actually looking for it. This shows that you’ll be willing to work with your supervisors and team in order to constantly improve.

Question 6: “What are the company’s plans for the next year? The next five years?”

Why you should ask it: This is another question that serves multiple purposes. On one hand, you get to hear about the long-term goals of the company and decide whether or not that’s a mission that you want to be a part of. On the other hand, the interviewer again gets to see that you’re looking at this job as a long-term prospect.

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Answering the Dreaded Interview Question: “Tell Me About Yourself”

Job Interview

It’s everyone’s least favorite job interview question, regardless of the field: “Tell me about yourself.” Where do you even start? Should you rehash the work experience that’s on your resume? Give a canned paragraph response about your current life position and your goals for the next ten years? Talk about your favorite football team? It’s such an open-ended question and that’s exactly why interviewers ask it: to see where you’ll go. Here are a few considerations for answering this tricky interview question. For more resources for job seekers, IT Accel has you covered with their candidate resources section.

Focus on a Three-Part Response

Any answer to the “tell me about yourself” question should come in three temporal parts: past, present, and future. Spend a few sentences talking about your past experience, a few talking about what you’re currently doing, and a few about where you’d like to see yourself in the immediate future and overall. This structure will work as a solid scaffold for you to build your full response on.

Talk to the Employer

What your potential employer is looking for is not a general sense of who you were, are, and will ever be as a person. They want to know how who you are relates to their needs and they want to see how you will fit into the overall culture and structure of the company. To that end, craft your response to indicate how you would be a good fit for the job while still maintaining your personality. It’s a hard balance to strike, which is why preparation is key. Speaking of preparation…

Develop Your Response Beforehand

The last thing you want to do is respond to “tell me about yourself” with “um, well…” That shows the interviewer that you haven’t given the question any thought, you haven’t prepared for the interview, and you’re probably not that passionate about the job. Take time before the interview to research the kind of information that they might be interested in hearing and jot down a couple of notes. You don’t want to read your full response off of a note card, but having a few bullet points can help you stay on track and remember to highlight everything you wanted to mention.

Keep It Brief

This is only one part of the interview and you want your response to be brief enough for your interviewer to remember all of it. Hone your response down to a few key achievements and goals – if there’s anything you don’t get to, you can always gain another chance to talk about those points when your interviewer asks one of those other dreaded questions: “Is there anything else about you we should know?”

Mastering everyone’s least favorite interview question is not impossible! As long as you prepare beforehand, have a structured response, talk to the employer’s needs, and keep it brief, you’ll make an excellent first impression.