You’ve landed a job interview, but now, how do you seal the deal? To stand out among your competition, prepare questions you can ask at the end of your interview by getting specific and doing your research.
Before you go into an interview, it’s important to think about some potential questions you can ask the recruiter or hiring manager. The last thing you want to say is that you don’t have any questions when your potential employer gives you the opportunity to ask them.
“Asking questions shows you’re interested in the position and the company,” says Natalie Busse, career services coordinator for Globe University. “Specific questions show you did your homework and put you above the rest of the candidates.”
Busse suggests preparing plenty of unique questions so that you still have something to ask in case the hiring manager discusses a lot of them during the interview. She also recommends writing your questions down, so if that does happen, you can at least show you had questions prepared.
“Prepare a minimum of three questions,” says Busse. “There isn’t really a limit on the number of questions you can ask, but you should be considerate of the interviewer’s time. You also don’t want to repeat something he or she already covered because that looks like you weren’t listening.”
When it comes to asking questions, Busse stresses the importance of focusing on the details.
“You should ask specific questions about the position, the company, the hiring process and the person conducting the interview,” she says.
Busse provides a few examples:
- What kind of characteristics do you look for in the employees you hire?
What is the typical career path for someone entering the company at my level?
- This suggests you are looking to eventually move up within the company; be careful not to ask it in a way that suggests you’re looking for an immediate promotion.
- What is the organization’s culture and leadership style like?
- What made you choose this company and why did you stay?
- To switch things up, get the recruiter to talk about him or herself.
- What is the greatest challenge for others in this position?
- This is an opportunity to identify how your strengths can overcome those challenges.
- What are the next steps and timeframe for the hiring process?
- Show you’re genuinely interested in moving forward by asking to set up the next interview.
After doing some research, you can also ask about a current event for the company, such as a new client or project, or the interviewer’s opinion on recent industry news. This shows you’re following happenings within the field and staying up-to-date on that specific organization.
There are things you shouldn’t ask, though.
“Don’t eliminate yourself by asking inappropriate questions,” warns Busse. “Always make it about the job itself until it’s offered to you. Never bring up money, benefits or vacation time until the employer does.”
Busse also says to stay away from questions related to promotion timelines. “It’s okay to ask how you can grow within the company, but don’t give off the impression you’re not dedicated to the position you’ll be hired for.”
Preparing a set of specific, unique questions for a job interview shows you’re truly interested in the position. Engage the interviewer and show you’ve done your homework, and you’ll impress your way to a new job. To learn more about Globe University and career support services visit www.globeuniversity.edu/about-us/career-services.