The best questions to ask at an Interview

So you have an interview. You’ve prepared good answers for questions that will most likely be asked. But have you prepared the questions you will ask the interviewer? There is more to effective interviewing than just coming up with good answers: you also need the right questions. As part of you interview preparation, review the five questions below, and we recommend you to practice delivering them with confidence as you would do in an interview.

As a manager, what skills and attitude are you looking for in an ideal candidate?

Asking this question shows the employer that you care about their priorities in making the best hire. By asking this question after you have discussed your credentials, you open the door to making a few final points before the end of the interview, that will be of best interest to your potential manager. But here’s the important part… Once you’ve asked this question, listen closely to how the interviewer answers it. If he or she mentions specific skills, or a working style you can relate to, that you didn’t mention earlier, it would be appropriate to mention those points after the interviewer finishes answering the question. Keep your comments brief since the interview is drawing to a close, but do make sure that the employer knows why you are indeed are the ideal candidate based on the managers preferences.

What has your experience with this company and department been like, and what are your favourite things about working here? 

A job interview is your chance to interview the company. It’s vital to ask the employer or hiring team questions that will help you decide if it’s the right fit for you. By asking about what the employer likes about the company and the department, you may get an idea whether you would like it as well. You may be also able to detect a red flag about the company, if the interviewer answers this question hesitantly, or in a negative manner. 

What criteria does the company look for to determine success in this role?

This question emphasizes your interest in succeeding in this position. Pay attention to see if the criteria that leads to success in the company fit your skill set and strengths. This will help you decide whether the job role is right for you, and if you can exceed the employer’s expectations.

What challenges are most important for you to solve in this department, and could I help solve them for you from this position? 

Asking this question will inform you of the issues that the department is facing. If the interviewer mentions a challenge that you have experience solving in the past, be sure to mention it at this stage of the interview. Suggest strategies or ways you would approach and solve that problem. Again keep your comments brief at this stage, since the main focus should be on the employer’s answer.

What will the next step be in the hiring process? 

You don’t want to leave the interview without knowing what to expect next. By asking this question, you not only reveal your interest in working at the company, but you might also open the door to learning a few details about the competition, such as how many more interviews the company plans to conduct. Be sure that the employer gives you a general idea about when you can expect to hear back about any next steps, like a second interview.

While asking someone else questions might seem like the easy part of your interview experience, don’t underestimate the importance of asking the right questions. Asking a few of the questions above at the end of an interview will demonstrate to the employer that you’re a qualified candidate with a strong interest in this specific job. Now what else do you need for a successful interview? Knowing how to ask and answer questions effectively is only one thing you need to be prepared for. There are many more factors that can influence the outcome of an interview.

At CV&Coffee we provide one on one interview preparation with a professional career advisor so that you can be 100% sure you’re well prepared.

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