These Key Questions Will Help You Stand Out

John Krautzel
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Did you know that asking your own questions during the interview is just as important as answering the interviewer's questions? Many job seekers overlook this part of the interview process, but hiring managers ask "Do you have any questions for me?" for a good reason. This is your chance to gain valuable insight about the company and to get the answers you're seeking about this specific opportunity. Here's a few good questions to ask.

Why Is This Position Vacant?

This question is extremely relevant to you as a candidate. If the person before you left this position, it's good to know why. Was it too much of a challenge? Were there political issues at play? Knowing the answer might affect whether you decide to move forward. If the position is newly created, it gives you an opportunity to inquire further about what your role will be and what will be expected of you.

How Is Success Measured in This Position?

Once you fully understand the duties and expectations associated with the job, dive further by inquiring about how the company measures success in this role. You want to know what factors are valued most and how the company motivates and inspires its top performers. Asking this type of question during the interview makes it clear to the hiring manager that you are focused not only on getting the job, but also on performing to the best of your abilities.

What Problems Does This Position Solve?

This question is a good way to gauge how large or small your role might be in relation to the company's long-term goals and overall strategy. It also shows the interviewer that you don't just want a job — you want to make an impact. Asking this question during the interview helps you come across as solution-oriented and a problem solver. Remember, the interview is a two-way street: the answer to this question also helps you decide if this position and company are right for you.

When Can I Expect to Hear From You?

This may seem like a basic question, but it's important not to let the interview end without getting an answer. Just as you should always close your cover letter with a call to action, closing the interview is no different. It compels the interviewer to provide you with a reasonable window of time within which you can expect to hear from him with next steps. It also shows your genuine interest in the opportunity.

Next time you go for an interview, make sure you've done thorough research on the company and prepared a list of thoughtful and relevant questions to ask. Doing so helps you come across more professional and prepared during the interview, in addition to providing the answers you need to make an informed decision about your next job opportunity.


Photo courtesy of bm_adverts at Flickr.com

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