7 Essential Interview Questions You Should be Asking

John Krautzel
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Many job candidates spend a lot of time preparing for an interview by practicing answers to common interview questions, but asking your own questions during the interview is also important. The right questions help you determine if the opportunity is the right one and shows the hiring manager you're serious about the job. Here are seven essential questions to ask.

1. "Why is This Position Open?"

This is a great question to ask towards the beginning of the interview. The answer can help you learn what might be expected of you. If the position is new, you'll likely work together with your superior to design your workday and responsibilities. If you're replacing someone, your duties are probably very structured and specific. It's also good to know why the previous person left the company, just in case there are red flags there.

2. "What is the Culture Like?"

You may possess all the qualifications the company is looking for, but a truly good fit only happens when your personal values and character traits align with the organization's values. Asking about company culture during the interview gives you insight into what it's really like to work there and lets the interviewer know you're serious about becoming a part of the team.

3. "How is Success Defined in this Role?"

This question shows that you're focused on your future performance and plan to excel in your new position. Based on the interviewer's response, you can determine how the company motivates its strongest employees, and what kinds of behaviors and skills the company rewards.

4. "What is Your Management Style?"

If you're fortunate enough to interview with your future boss, this question can offer a goldmine of information. It's imperative you know how your boss leads his team and whether or not his management style is a good fit for your work style. If you prefer to work autonomously at your own pace, being paired with a Type-A micromanager is a bad idea. Knowing the boss's management style at the interview stage gives you ample opportunity to reconsider the job, if need be.

5. "What do You Like About Working Here?"

Get into the interviewer's head a little by asking what he personally enjoys about working for the company. Asking this question is a great way to get a more authentic, off-the-cuff answer about what it's really like to work for the firm.

6. "Do You Have any Reservations About Hiring Me?"

While some may see this question as forward, it's a great way to address any reservations the hiring manager may have about you. Be prepared to go to bat for yourself here; you may need to correct a misunderstanding or spin a weak spot into a potential asset right there on the spot.

7. "What are the Next Steps?"

Asking this question last is a great way to close the interview; it reiterates your interest in the position, while compelling the interviewer to give you a timeline on what to expect.

The interview is a conversation, not an interrogation. Therefore, don't allow the interview to end without asking a few thoughtful questions of your own. It shows your enthusiasm and seriousness about the opportunity, while giving you a little more insight into the organization and its policies.

Photo courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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