In an earlier blog posting, Interview your Interviewer, Questions You Should Be Asking, we talked about the importance of asking questions during your interview. You may spend a large amount of time preparing to answer interview questions but do you take any time to prepare questions to ask your interviewer? Hopefully the answer is “Yes” but if not we came across an article on Ladders that can help. The article, 10 Ridiculously Smart Questions You Should Ask In A Job Interview, takes a different approach in the type of questions you can ask your interviewer.
The article discusses “smart” questions that can help you stand out in a crowded field of candidates. The primary purpose of asking questions is to obtain information, but there is an additional purpose that many candidates neglect. That is to make sure you are remembered. One of the best ways to be remembered is to ask unique and interesting questions that set you apart from other candidates.
Many candidates ask questions focused on job requirements and qualifications and not on the position as it relates to the company. Ask questions to find out how the position fits into the company. Who has been successful in the position in the past and why? How does the position fit into the mission of the company? What are the opportunities for advancement and career growth? What is the typical career path?
The article also presents questions to ask the interviewer about yourself. What does the interviewer think of our qualifications? Are there any concerns regarding your background or qualifications? What questions haven’t I asked that others have? These questions can allow you to address any potential issues before you leave the interview. Otherwise any concerns will go unaddressed and can influence whether you receive an offer or proceed to the next step.
If you’ve done your homework you should have reached out thru professional connections to talk with current or past employees prior to your interview. These employees can provide valuable insight into company culture, challenges and opportunities. But also remember the person sitting across the desk is not just the interviewer but also an employee. Use the opportunity to ask them about their experiences and view on the company. Why did they join the company? What brings them the greatest satisfaction about the company?
Use some of the questions above to prepare for your next interview and your chances of standing out can dramatically increase. At the very least they’ll give you additional insight into the company to help you decide if it’s an opportunity that meets your goals.