NPJ Opinion: The Best Questions To Ask In a Job Interview

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Happy first day of November! It’s crazy to think that it is nearly 2017. The holidays are right around the corner, and we will have lots of fun seasonal content coming your way. For today we’re tackling another opinion piece: job interviews.

Let’s be honest – while the prospect of having an interview is exciting, interviews themselves are not always a piece of cake. Being in the hot seat, sweaty palms, all of the stress. Then, after you have been questioned, they ask if you have anything to ask. The biggest mistake anyone can make is not asking questions in an interview. Remember that you are interviewing the company just as much as they are interviewing you. Through asking smart, thoughtful questions you will not only understand the role and prospective company better, but you will leave a memorable impression on your interviewer. Below are our favorite questions to ask in a job interview.

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Whom does this role directly work with?

Paint the picture of what your life will look like in this role – whom will you be working with on a daily basis, whom you will report to and whom you will likely be sitting by.

Is this a new position or has the role been open before?

Find out if the role is a new creation to fill an existing need, or if the last person in this role left the position. If the role is not new, ask how long the position has been open. This can help you gauge if it’s a tough team to be on or if they are being intentional in trying to find the right fit.

If I were to start tomorrow, what type of work would you have me doing?

A common question in interviews is to ask what a typical day looks like. However, that is a loaded question because most industries will tell you that no day is a typical day and any myriad of tasks can come up. Asking what they would have you do in the immediate future clearly describes what will be expected of you and what you will be working on.

What characteristics are present in successful hires versus less successful hires?

Though a job description mostly entails what the company is looking for in a candidate, this question delves deeper into what the hiring manager really wants to see.

What is your favorite part about working here?

Is it an awesome team of people? Flexible and open leadership? Opportunity for growth? Finding out why your interviewer loves about their company helps to describe the office culture. You need to be happy in a role, so ask what aspects of the job typically make others happy and evaluate if that is sustainable to your well being.

Do you have any hesitations about my qualifications?

A bold question, but nonetheless our favorite. This question serves a twofold purpose. First, if there are any serious reservations the hirer may have you are able to address them head on and prove why you can handle the role. Second, it shows that you are confident and willing to try whatever it takes to succeed.

Next steps in the process

This lets you know when you should be hearing from the hiring manager. Often this is when the interviewer will share if they are speaking with other candidates, and what time frame they need for a decision. All that is left for you is to write a post-interview thank you note {check out our guidelines here} and pat yourself on the back for a well-done interview.

 

The biggest thing to remember? It is just a conversation. Relax, be yourself, and know that any company is lucky to have you. Thanks for reading! Do you have any go-to interview questions?

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