Thursday, September 24, 2015

For the Win: Questions Every Candidate Should Ask

One of the most stressful things about interviewing is never quite knowing what to expect. Sure, there are some standard questions that you can usually count on, but every interviewer has their own style, and you never quite know how one might trip you up. Which makes preparation a little more difficult than it otherwise might be.
But one thing you can always count on is how an interview will end: with the interviewer asking if you have any questions. When that happens, smart interviewees have the opportunity to shine: assuming they know what questions to ask.
  • Can I Have a Tour? Sitting in a stuffy office or conference room, it can sometimes be difficult to convey your personality and ability to get along with others – but asking for a quick tour gives you the opportunity to stroll and talk a little more casually with the interviewer, outside the context of an actual interview. Plus, it shows that you are invested enough in this position to want to see where you would be working if you were to get the offer. In situations where the role would involve working closely with other team members, asking to meet the co-workers you would be spending most of your time with can also show how seriously you are taking this opportunity.
  • What are the most important contributions I could make in my first 90 days? Hiring managers like candidates who are committed to success, and there is no better way to show that commitment in an interview than to ask this question. It shows that you want to jump right into the position and hit the ground running, and that you aren’t looking at those first 90 days as a training opportunity – you’re focused on starting out strong! And you’re open to suggestions on just how to best accomplish that. 
  • Do you have any concerns about how I might fit into this role? While it may seem counterintuitive to highlight your own shortcomings, taking this opportunity to ask the interviewer if they have any concerns will allow you to address those concerns in the moment – rather than finding out about them only when you inquire as to why you didn’t get the job. How you react to the answer given when you ask this question can also show your ability to take constructive criticism. 
Remember, everything said during an interview is an opportunity to impress the hiring manager – so take that opportunity, even with the questions you are asking.

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