After sending your resume to all the job ads and recruiters you could find, you’ve nailed an interview.
That’s exciting news, especially considering that only around 2% of applicants actually get called in for an interview.
Before you celebrate, there’s work to be done before the interview even begins. Interview prep is essential to making sure you seal the deal. Make sure you head to the interview with a prepared list of questions, both general and specific to the position.
Some hiring managers will even rule candidates out who say they don’t have any questions at the end of an interview as it can reveal a lack of interest.
Here are some ideas on questions any job applicant should ask during an interview.
“What does a typical day look like?”
The job ad should give you a good idea of the roles and responsibilities, but it’s not always easy to gauge what the day-to-day routine would be. Understanding what your average day will entail can help paint the picture of what life really looks like in this role — and help you decide if it’s the right fit.
If it is an opportunity you find worth pursuit, the answer to this question can also help you identify specific skills or qualifications you should work on to succeed in the role.
“Why is this position currently open?”
Don’t be afraid to ask this question, despite the fact that it seems rather bold and intrusive. While the employer is not obligated to disclose this information, they are often open.
If it’s a new role, the answer can actually convey a lot of inferred information. New positions that have been open for a while can indicate internal issues, such as disagreeing on the right candidate, a lack of vision for what the role needs to be, or slow internal processes.
In the case that it’s not a new role, the individual who previously held the position might have gotten promoted. That’s a good sign, showing that there is opportunity for growth within the company.
Don’t just consider the interviewer’s answer to this question; think about what it means for you and what it tells you about the opportunity.
“Can you tell me about the team?”
Any individual is only as successful as the team they’re on. Together, you can accomplish more, but poor team dynamics is detrimental to both the work and your morale.
It can be hard to determine whether or not you’ll get along with the team until you’re actually working with them. This question can tell you other things about the role, though.
If there isn’t a team in place, or the interviewer hesitates or seems unsure, that could be a sign that you won’t have much support or mentorship. Find out who the position reports to, if and who this role manages and the individuals this role interacts with every day.
“What is the company culture like?”
Culture is becoming more important for employees and employers alike, so you want to find a match.
It’s important to research the company beforehand, and this can give you some insight into what the culture is like. However, companies’ websites and social media channels aren’t always identical to the real-life dynamic.
Asking this question can give you valuable information about the company’s core values and how they treat employees.
“What are the next steps of this process?”
Asking this last question shows that you’re truly interested in the opportunity. It can also help you determine where you stand in their eyes, and if they’re considering other candidates as well. And understanding the rest of their process can help you gauge when and how to follow up.
Preparing questions for your interview is a necessity
Whether general or specific, it is pivotal that you ask well-researched and thought-provoking questions at the end of your interview. This will show that you’re interested in the position and the company. You’ll also exhibit confidence revealing that you’ll be a valuable asset to the team.