Published on May 5, 2015

Smart questions to ask during a job interview

An interview, first and foremost, is a conversation. A conversation dedicated to figuring out if you’re the right person for the available position at a company. Not only does the employer want to know about your experience and abilities, but it’s also time for you as the prospective employee to figure out what exactly the position entails and if you’re really up for it. When you ask these questions you also show your potential employer that you are genuinely interested in the company and are actually considering what it would be like to work there. But how do you know what to ask in a job interview?

 

What to ask in a job interview

 

It’s important to ask your potential employer what you really and truly want to know about the job. Of course, this is after having read the job description and paying full attention to what the interviewer has already said about the position. There’s a chance some of your questions will be covered during the first part of the interview, so it’s important to pay close attention and not ask anything that’s already been discussed.

 

1. What opportunities will I have to develop professionally at this company?

Potential employers will like to hear that you're interested in growing as a professional and see yourself developing skills while contributing to the company.

 

2. How do you gauge success for this position? What expectations do you have for the first month, three months and year for the person in this position?

This will help clarify what exactly your prospective boss is looking for in their employee. It will also show them you're taking the position very seriously and are not afraid to get specific.

 

What to ask in a job interview

 

3. Why did you start working here? What are some of the benefits you have found working with this employer?

This will help you figure out if you're interviewing for a company you really want to work for, based on how your interviewee answers. Are those benefits that also interest you?

 

4. What experience and abilities would the ideal candidate for this position have?

If you can ask this early in the interview, the response will be good to keep in mind as you answer questions about your background and experience. Make yourself as close to the ideal candidate as possible (while remaining truthful, of course).

 

5. What are some challenges that come with this position?

This question will help you get a better idea of what the hardest part of the job actually entails and whether or not it's something you're really up for.

 

What to ask in a job interview

 

6. Do you have any reservations about my qualifications?

This is a ballsy question, but if you're feeling up to it, the answer will allow you to defend any weaknesses in your CV and convince the interviewer you're the person they want.

 

7. What’s the next step in the hiring process?

This kind of question is good for establishing when you can expect to hear back about the interview and how you should prepare yourself in the case of more interviews or another hiring stage. You also may get a better picture of whether or not they are interested in continuing with you as a candidate.

 

Sources: Forbes, USNews

 

Photo 1. based on Beast of a Job Interview, after Walter Crane, by Mike Licht, CC-by-2.0

Photo 2. based on Alex France - Uni interview today at Huddersfield [Day 23], by Alex France, CC-by-2.0

Photo 3. based on 1418 fj1, by studio tdes, CC-by-2.0

The author
Elizabeth Trovall
After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her third year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.

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