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Five Questions to Ask in Your Next Interview

So you’re sitting in an interview for that perfect job and the interviewer turns to ask you the dreaded question “Do you have any questions for me?”  I can tell you that the right answer is not, ‘no’!  This is your opportunity to really impress the interviewer and let them know exactly how confident you are and why you would be a great fit, by asking the right questions.

There are many questions that you may want to know, the basics about the working environment, amount of travel, number of direct reports, and so on. Here’s five questions that you should also consider asking in your next interview:

Question 1:  What do you see as some of the challenges for someone coming into this role? 

This question will tell the interviewer that you are not shortsighted and realize that anytime anyone steps into a new job, there will be challenges that must be overcome.  In addition, the interviewer realizes that you are ‘one step ahead’ of the game by looking down the road for when you start!

Question 2:  If I were offered this position, how would my success be measured?  How could I exceed your expectations?

Asking this two part question shows that you are eager to know how you would be evaluated and how you can be an exemplary employee by exceeding their expectations.  This question also gives you the ability to ‘sell yourself’ if the opportunity arises.  For example, if the interviewer replies to this question with “your success will be measured by the satisfaction ratings of the customers you serve,” then you could reply with at XYZ company I maintained a 99% satisfaction rating with all my guests and overcame XYZ challenges to do so, therefore I don’t anticipate that being an issue based on my past history.

Question 3:  How does this position fit in with the short and long term goals of the company?

This is a great question to ask because it shows that you are looking for a career and are in it for the long term.  In addition, it shows that you can see the ‘bigger picture’ because you are not solely focused on your own job but how you can help the company.

Question 4:  If you were not to offer me the job, what would be the primary reason?

This is an extremely blunt question that will tell you exactly what reservations (if any) the interviewer would have about hiring you.  Of course, once they give you the answer it is up to you to sell yourself and alleviate their fear/objection.  In my opinion, this is the best question you could ask an interviewer if you are really interested in the job.  This is like a salesperson asking “Is there anything I can do to interest you in purchasing today”.

Question 5:  What excites you about coming to work?

This is my favorite question to ask during an interview because it clues you in on the company culture. If the interviewer doesn’t seem genuinely excited about their work, and can’t give reasons other than ‘they pay me’, it is a good indication that the company may not treat their employees that great.  However, be cautious not to base your decision entirely on the interviewers answer.  It may be that you just happen to be asking someone who is not a passionate person.  However, if you are asking this question to the person you will be working for then… well you get my gist!

These five questions are best to ask to the person who may be your manager. Asking your HR representative may prove ineffective as they may not be aware of most of these answers. Asking these questions will not only separate you from the crowd but also show your interviewer that you are in it for the long-haul and you’re not just going through the motions of job searching but instead you’re looking for a great fit for you and them.

Until next time!

Having trouble getting an interview?  Take a look at our professional resume packages, so that you have the opportunity to ask the questions above!

Kerry Gustafson, a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) founded Simply Great Resumes in July of 2012 and has over 9 years’ experience writing professional resumes, cover letters, thank you letters, and LinkedIn profiles. With a working background in Marketing, IT, and Project Management from Fortune 100 to small business, Kerry brings a strong working knowledge and unique perspective to the industry. Skilled at narrowing in on client’s roles and responsibilities, Kerry has a natural ability to change the dreaded resume creation into a fun and awareness-building experience.