A job interview presents an exciting opportunity to take the next step in your career. It gives candidates the chance to talk about all of their life experiences and accomplishments to someone who wants to listen. While some people thrive under the pressure of the interview, others just want to get in and out of there as quickly as possible. For the latter group, the interviewer asking "Do you have any questions for me?" is music to their ears because it signals that the interview is nearly over. A simple "Nope, I think you covered everything" with a wide smile and they're out the door and on their merry way.
Do everything you can to resist this temptation. Even the most elementary information on interview do's and don'ts will tell you that a crucial factor in any hiring manager's decision is a candidate's final questions. In an increasingly competitive job market, being qualified simply isn't good enough anymore. You need to go above and beyond to prove your worth and willingness to learn in your role, and asking thoughtful questions is the perfect way to do just that.
Depending on the length of the interview, you may only have time for two or three questions, so don't squander the opportunity by asking ordinary questions that the interviewer has probably heard many times before. Asking the right questions will give you an idea of what to expect and if the company is a good fit for you. Without further adieu, here are five memorable questions that will surely leave a good impression:
1. Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?
This question will give you a chance to learn more about the position in detail than is listed on the job description. By learning about the day-to-day tasks from someone familiar with the role, you will gain insight on what specific skills and strengths are necessary and if you are a good fit for the company (and vice versa).
2. What do you think are the most important qualities for someone to excel in this role?
Similar to the previous question, the interviewer's response will lead to valuable insights on what specific qualities are most valuable for success. Furthermore, it can help you learn more about the company culture and their expectations of you to ensure you are the best fit for the position.
3. What are the biggest opportunities/challenges facing the company right now?
Asking about opportunities demonstrates your interest in the company's future and may also provide a better understanding of where your skills can be best put to use. Conversely, discovering challenges perceived by people on the inside will give you a better idea of the common trends and issues in the industry and identify specific areas where you are needed the most.
4. What do you enjoy most about working for this company?
Your interviewer will be happy to share his own personal experiences from his time at the company, and you will also get a better feel for the company culture that will help determine if the job is right for you.
5. Where do you see this company in five years?
If you plan on being in this role for the long haul, inquiring about the company's future will not only reveal the direction that the company is heading but may also uncover its long-term goals that you will ultimately play a role in achieving.