4 Clever Interview Questions to Ask

John Krautzel
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Asking your own questions is an important part of any job interview. The interview is, after all, a two-way conversation; it's about you and the interviewer getting to know each other and determining whether you're a good fit for the company. Having thoughtful questions such as these ready to go displays your interest in the position and lets the hiring manager know that you show up prepared for the job.

1. What Is the Company Culture Like?

This is one of the most valuable and useful questions you can ask the interviewer. Having an idea of the company's culture not only helps you determine what other questions to ask during the interview, but also whether the company's values align with yours. Hiring managers are usually keen on selling a company's culture to job candidates, so prepare to receive lots of helpful information here. You may get insight into things such as the frequency of departmental meetings, whether employees work in teams or on their own, and the preferred methods of communication.

2. How Does This Role Fit Into the Company's Long-Term Strategy?

Before you ask this question, it's important to have done your research on the company prior to the interview. Look on the website, read blogs, and find any information you can that includes positive, recent news about the company's strategies. "It's always impressive to interviewers when you demonstrate knowledge of timely news or trend information about the company," says Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of "Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job." It shows you have a genuine interest in the company and its future. When you ask how your role fits into the long-term strategy, the answer you get provides valuable insight into what kind of future you can expect as part of the team.

3. How Would You Define Success in This Role?

This is a question best asked during the beginning or middle of the interview, as the answer you receive will help determine what you should focus on when talking about your experience and qualifications. When you know what skills and character traits are most valued by the employer, you can then play up those traits as you talk about your own accomplishments. Asking this question also demonstrates your strong interest in not just getting the job but succeeding in the role.

4. When Can I Expect to Hear From You?

Once you've gotten all of your other questions answered, you want to begin discussing the next steps in the hiring process. This is a great question to end the interview because it shows the interviewer that you sincerely want the job, and it compels them to give you a realistic timeline.

The end of the interview is your prime opportunity to showcase your enthusiasm, confidence and knowledge of the company. The types of questions you ask give the interviewer an idea of the type of employee you may become, so ask thoughtful and relevant questions such as the ones listed here. Providing a strong last impression during the interview brings you that much closer to sealing the deal.

Photo courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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