A job interview can be a nerve-racking experience, and your nerves can quickly get the better of you. Career advisor and author John Lees states that an interview can be seen as an improvised performance, where you’re trying to present the best version of yourself. And though most of that performance comes with answering the questions given to you, a big part is also asking the right questions yourself. Use this opportunity to gain more information and show employers that you’re interested in and passionate about the position. Here are a few intelligent things you can ask on the big day:
What does my typical day look like in this role?
If you get the role, you may be surprised to see how different a job might be from its description. Asking this question can help you set up some expectations early on and give you better insight into your position's day-to-day tasks and responsibilities. The Balance’s write-up on candidate fit mentions that an interview is the best way to assess whether you’re fit for the company and vice versa, so asking this can also give both you and your interviewer a chance to visualize how you’ll personally suit the role and the organization.
What do you like most about working here?
Interviewers often ask questions on behalf of the company, so they don’t often get to offer their own insights as an employee. Asking them for their opinions on the pros and cons of the workplace can provide you with a more personal, first-hand perspective into what working for the organization is like. This discussion can invite more openness and a person-to-person connection rather than just facing a stranger representing the company.
How would you define an ideal employee?
Any question you put forward will tell you much about the company but can similarly reveal much about you as a candidate. As such, one of LHH’s top questions to ask in an interview is to check what makes for an ideal employee in this particular company. You probably already know what they’re looking for in a candidate, but it’s always great to learn more about which attributes they feel are essential to their people. This can also help employers figure out if you match their standards for the role or if you will jive well with the rest of the team.
Can you tell me more about my team?
Speaking of the team, it’s important to know more about the people you’ll be working closely with, including who you’ll be reporting to and the colleagues you’ll be working alongside. This question can help you know more about your specific team’s responsibilities and how you’ll be able to contribute. You can also use this to mention some previous successes or experiences in working with similar groups.
What is the company culture like?
Other than the position you’re applying for, it’s crucial also to get a big picture of how you’ll be able to fit into the company and the culture. The definition of company culture is “how you do what you do in the workplace.” By asking about this, you can get a good idea of the work hours, employee-boss interactions, dress codes, employee promotions, and more. Asking about the company culture can help you decide if this is the best opportunity for you and can give employers a chance to see how you’d fare in the organization.
Is there anything I can further clarify about my qualifications?
During the interview, it’s expected that both interviewer and interviewee may be unable to dive deep regarding your skills or previous experiences. You can ask this question to allow yourself to elaborate on your training, background, and qualifications that you might not have been able to bring up previously. This allows for more clarity on the recruiter’s end, and it can give them more to work with when considering you for the job.
Your job interview can make or break your chances of getting the position, but even with such pressure, it’s important to keep your cool and focus on asking and answering in the best, most honest way possible. For more tips on acing that interview, check out our post ‘How BEST to Answer: Tell Me Something About Yourself’ to know how to handle one of the trickiest go-to questions on the roster.