Should you ask questions during an interview? What About Difficult Questions?
As an executive recruiter, one of the most common questions we receive from job candidates is whether they should ask a lot of questions during an interview. The answer is simple: yes, you should. However, not all questions are created equal, and some are better than others. Read on for a few of my best tips on how to ask the right questions when interviewing — and which questions to avoid altogether.
How to transition to your interview questions
Transitioning to your questions during an interview can be a crucial part of demonstrating your interest in the position and gaining more information about the company and role. By following the tips below, you can transition smoothly to your questions while interviewing and gain valuable information about the company and role:
- Avoid saying that you have no questions. This response can make you appear disinterested or unprepared.
- Be flexible with your questioning strategy. While it’s essential to have some prepared questions, be open to asking follow-up questions throughout the interview instead of holding all of your questions for the end. This approach can demonstrate your active listening skills, help you clarify key points, and show that you’re engaged in the conversation.
- Ask at least a few specific questions during the interview. These questions can demonstrate your knowledge of the company and role and help you understand the expectations of the position.
- Ask questions that you genuinely want answers to. After all, your goal is to make an informed decision about the role and demonstrate your interest in the position.
Interview questions that impress
One of the most crucial questions to ask is, “What are the biggest challenges facing the company right now?” This question shows that you are interested in the company’s success and that you are prepared to help overcome its challenges.
Another impressive question is, “What does success look like in this role?” This question shows that you are goal-oriented and interested in delivering results. It will also help you understand the expectations for the role.
Keep these interview questions in your back pocket, too:
- Can you describe the company culture?
- What are the expectations for this role within the first 90 days?
- How does the company measure success?
- Can you tell me more about the team I’ll be working with?
- What kind of training and development opportunities are available?
- How does the company prioritize work-life balance?
- What is the company’s approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion?
- Can you share any upcoming projects or initiatives the team is working on?
- How does the company support employee growth and career advancement?
- What qualities are you looking for in the ideal job candidate for this position?
Have a goal
When crafting your interview questions, it’s important to have a goal in mind. What do you want to learn? What information do you need to make an informed decision about the job? What factors are important to you in a new position? Having a goal will help you ask more specific and targeted questions while honing in on a role that meets your needs and expectations.
Avoid these questions when being interviewed
Avoid asking questions about salary and benefits until the hiring manager brings them up. Asking about these topics too early in the interview process can make you appear money-motivated rather than interested in the job. In addition, steer clear of questions that make you seem presumptuous about getting the job or unprepared for the interview, such as:
- How quickly can I expect a promotion?
- What does your company do? (Research ahead of time!)
- Can I take PTO right away?
- How often do you give raises?
- Am I allowed to leave early on Fridays?
Learn the next steps before you leave
Before leaving the interview, ask the hiring manager about the next steps in the process. This information will give you a better idea of the timeline for hiring and when you can expect to hear back. Additionally, it will help you prepare for any additional interviews or tasks that may be required.
As a job candidate, your ability to ask the right questions during an interview can be the difference between landing a job and having to continue your search. The guidance of a reputable recruiter can help you gain valuable insights into the role and company before the interview, allowing you to ask more focused and relevant questions. Therefore, I recommend you take the time to research the company and role beforehand and work with a recruiter to develop a set of thought-provoking questions that demonstrate your knowledge, passion, and commitment to the position. To learn more, contact us to schedule a consultation.
ConnectPoint Search Group
Sacramento Region’s Premier Boutique Search & Staffing Firm