When the Interviewer Becomes the Interviewee: The Best Questions to Ask During an Interview

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While you’re picking out your most professional outfit and planning the fastest route to your interview, don’t forget to come up with a few questions of your own to ask during the interview. Remember that interviews are a two-way street where the company gets a better idea of who you are and you get a better idea of what the company represents. The truth of the matter is that companies need you just as much as you need them. Businesses don’t have very much of a chance of being a success if they don’t have talented individuals working for them, and one of those talented individuals just might be you. Asking the right questions during the interview could be just the thing that starts your career.

“If I Were to Start Tomorrow, What Priority Would Be of the Most Importance?

This question gives you a better idea of the position’s current state and also shows that you are ready to hit the ground running. Not only that, but you will seem more invested in the position. Yet another advantage of this question is that it paints a picture in the interviewer’s mind of you holding the position. All of this with a single question.

“What Changes and Improvements Are You Looking for a Candidate to Bring the Most?”

Here you have an opportunity to see why the position is open in the first place. Did the last person leave or did they lose their job? Perhaps this is a brand new position that the company is looking to fill. This question also gives you a better insight into just what you need to do in order to be a success at this position. This is also another question that makes you look hungry for the job opportunity.

“How Would You Describe the Company’s Leadership and Culture Philosophy?”

No matter how much research you do about a company, nothing can replace the knowledge that you can gain from an employee who has worked there for several years. This question also gives you a more concrete idea of where the company’s priorities lie and a better idea of how they treat their employees. This is where you get the chance to see if this is truly a company that you can see yourself working at and spending your time with.

While asking this question, be sure throw in some of the overarching values that you’ve noticed while researching the company. The benefit of this is that it shows that you’ve done your homework. 

“Do You Enjoy Working Here?”

This particular question is sure to earn you a smile and maybe even a laugh from the interviewer. When you ask this question, watch the interviewer’s face and see how long it takes them to answer. If it takes them a while, they might be thinking of a way to phrase an otherwise negative answer into something more polite. If they immediately answer yes and their eyes light up, then chances are good that they truly love their job. Any answer that starts with “Well…” is a red flag. In any case, go with your gut when posing this question.

On a related note, it’s best that you make sure that you don’t ask the wrong question, which includes anything about salary, market share loss, and competitive threats.

Sarah Pinkerton

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