The part of the interview that could determine whether or not you’re going to move on in the process or not is when the interviewer asks you if you have any questions. I’ve been hearing from a lot of hiring managers and recruiters that they are amazed at the amount of people that don’t have any questions.
This is the opportune time to make one final impression on a potential employer. Unfortunately, a lot of job seekers aren’t taking advantage of the last 5-10 minutes of the interview to stand out. The key to a great interview isn’t always about how well you answered questions, a lot also has to do with the questions you ask.
I have to draw a distinction between asking relevant questions and asking questions just for the sake of asking them. You may not get the opportunity to ask as many questions as you would like, so it’s a great idea to have some questions prepared that you can refer to once that time comes. To get clarity around the role that you’re interviewing for, and to give you the best chance at success, you’ll want to get answers to the following questions:
Why is the role open?
Is this a newly created role or has someone left or been promoted. It’s always interesting to hear why a role has become available. If it’s due to someone moving up within the company, that’s a great sign of what could be for you. If the previous employee left the company all together, you probably should find out why so you have a better idea as to what you’re getting yourself into
What challenges does the interviewer see in the role?
It’s a good idea to get the interviewer to talk about the challenges versus the problems with a position. It shows that you are looking at things with a positive lens. Some challenges may be structural, while others may have to do with a gap in abilities and the responsibilities of the position. Either way, it’s best to find out which if you plan on succeeding.
What are the firms expectations
If these haven’t been covered during the course of your interview, ask this question directly. In addition to the long term success of the role, you want to find out what the firm plans on doing to stay ahead of the competition. I’ve worked at places where we relied on our name alone and stood by while our biggest competitors innovated and ultimately took market share.
Be careful how you pose this question. The interviewer may not know the answer, and you don’t want to scare them off. Use this opportunity to see how the company defines success and what success in this role means to them.
What are the priorities?
You need to have a firm understanding of what your priorities are. If anything major is going to go wrong, it’ll probably go wrong within the first 90 days on the job. Get an idea as to what their onboarding process is and if you will have to travel for any initial training.
Are you the right person for the job
If you feel that that the interview is going really well, this the question that you want the answer to! Don’t ask this question too directly. If you ask too directly, you could get a vague answer. You need to express your interest and enthusiasm about the opportunity and ask if there are any reasons that would prevent them from moving forward with you. Hopefully there aren’t any, but if there are any reservations, you want the opportunity to show the interviewer that you are more than capable of doing the job.