How to stand out in a job interview: questions you should ask

August 29, 2017

Job interviews can be nerve-wracking. Typically, candidates tend to focus on providing educated answers to questions their potential employers might ask during the interview, but they don’t realize they are able to ask questions as well. Interviews are never one-sided! To make things less stressful if you are currently job hunting, compare the search to dating. Think about it. You will normally go through a dating phase before “making it official” with your friends and family. You get to know the person and decide if this is the right one for you. You change your Facebook status when you accept a new position at work like you change it when you become romantically invested in a relationship with someone. If employers go through time and effort to meet with you, engage in detailed conversation and ask you questions and provide you with information about themselves and the company, it is only courteous for you to do the same. Asking questions shows that you are interested in the company and are willing to put forth the effort to understand and get to know what the job at hand is all about.

 

It may be difficult trying to come up with questions to ask your potential employer at first, but it will show that you did your research about the company and that you are eager to work with them.

 

Here is a list of questions to get you started that will help to set you apart from other people competing for the same position.

 

1) What skills and experiences would make an ideal candidate?

According to Forbes, this question will have the interviewer put his or her cards on the table and inform you what the employer is looking for. This also gives you a chance to have the employer review with you something he or she may not have covered.

 

2) How would you describe the company's culture?

You want to know the vibe and atmosphere of where you may be potentially working. According to Business Insider, this question gives you a broad view of the corporate philosophy of a company and whether or not it prioritizes employee happiness.

 

3) What might I expect in a typical day?

This question will truly show your eagerness about the job and will help you picture yourself in that particular setting on a daily basis. It’ll help you decide if this is the right job for you.  

 

4) What are the company's highest priority goals this year, and how would my role contribute?

You want a job with meaning. You want to have a purpose in the company and know that every day you will be making a difference for the better. Otherwise, it is just something to pay the bills with. The word that best describes employees for a company, according to Inc, is “investments.” Investments that generate a positive return on their salaries.

 

5) Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with if I am offered a position?

With the way this question is phrased, it shows confidence that you will get the job. The answer to this question will give insight into the people you’ll be working with, so it’s best to take notes.

 

6) Can you tell me what steps need to be completed before your company can generate an offer?

According to Business Insider, if you ask about an offer rather than a decision, it will give you a better sense of the timeline because "decision" is broad, while "offer" refers to when it’s time to hand over the contract.

 

7) Where do you see the company in terms of growth in five years?

Asking this question will show you are looking for something long-term and that you expect to grow with the company. According to Business Insider, this also makes a good impression of showcasing longevity to work for whatever company you will end up at.

 

There are three things you can achieve when you ask the right questions during an interview, according to Forbes:

  • Making sure the interviewer has no reservations about you.

  • Demonstrating your interest in the employer.

  • Finding out if you feel the employer is the right fit for you.

 

While there are endless questions you could potentially ask during an interview, it is best to focus on these three goals. They will help you create questions to ask your potential employer to find more information about the position, the goals and expectations and to see if you will fit right in with the company.

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