Preparing for a job interview can be tough; you rehearse your answers to a myriad of tricky questions while trying to keep your nerves from getting the best of you. While practicing your answers, be sure to think of a few questions of your own to ask during the interview. Not sure where to start? Consider the following four thoughtful questions.
1. "What do you like about working here?"
Right off the bat, this question creates a bit of a role reversal, as it puts the interviewer on the spot. It's a great question to ask, because it gives you greater insight into what working for the company might really be like through the eyes of the hiring manager. Listen for clues when the interviewer responds. Enthusiasm about the people or the culture are good signs that the company is a happy, welcoming place. Hesitation or a vague response might be a red flag.
2. "What changes does the company anticipate in the next few years?"
Asking this question demonstrates your intention to be with the company for the long haul as well as your interest in the company's success. Hiring managers want candidates who are invested in their company's long-term growth. The information you gather from the interviewer's answer can also help you formulate your answers to questions later in the interview. Try to weave together the company's future goals with your expertise, and emphasize how you plan to help the company meet its objectives.
3. "Is there any reason why you wouldn't want to hire me?"
This question can be intimidating to ask during the interview because it is so straightforward. "This one question is something I would suggest every single candidate ask," says Kelsey Meyer, former president of Digital Talent Agents in Columbia, Missouri. It offers the interviewer a chance to communicate any reservations he may have about you and gives you a fantastic opportunity to address them right away and offer any needed clarification. "If you have the guts to ask it, I don't think you'll regret it," says Meyer. It's much better to know ahead of time what hesitations an employer might have about you rather than leave the interview on a confident high only to get rejected later.
4. "What are the next steps?"
If you don't get around to asking any other questions during the interview, at least ask this one. After all is said and done, inquiring about the next steps in the hiring process shows that you're sincerely interested in moving forward, and it obliges the interviewer to give you a concrete time frame in which to expect a callback.
Although your answers to the interviewer's questions are important, the questions you ask are certain to make a lasting impression. Asking questions during the interview shows that you're not just another candidate looking for any job, but a sincerely interested prospect who wants to help the company succeed.
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