The part of the interview where you can ask any questions is a great opportunity to learn if the company and role is a good fit for you. Yet, many interviewees freeze or gloss over it to quickly wrap up the conversation out of fear of asking something inappropriate and tanking the interview. However, the questions you ask play a large part in the decision-making process as it provides insight into a candidate’s genuine interest in the role and their own career priorities.
Here’s 5 questions to keep in mind at your next interview:
1) On measuring success
“How do you plan to measure success in this role?” or “What metrics would you use to measure success in this role?” is a key question HR managers wants candidates to ask as it gives candidates good insight into how their performance will be judged, which will then help them gauge whether they are a good fit for the role in the long term. This is especially important for jobs that requires one to wear multiple hats.
2) On long term career goals
“What does a career path look like in this role and in this company?” This question will give the interviewer a sense that you’re in it for the long haul and are not looking to jump ship the moment you spot another opportunity. The answer will not only give you a full overview of the role before you start, but also demonstrate that you are looking for a long term career prospect, to grow and develop within that company. You don’t want to start a job only to find out that there’s no room for promotions, pay rises or progression.
3) More risky questions
Don’t be afraid to ask unconventional or risky questions about possible gaps and weaknesses. “Is there anything about my background or what we’ve discussed here today that would make you hesitant to offer me the position?” This is a great closing question and shows that you're not afraid of critical feedback. It allows another opportunity to address and elaborate on any reservations the interviewer might have. It also demonstrates assertiveness and a desire to clear up any potential miscommunications.
4) About challenges
“What are some of the challenges or roadblocks one might come up against in this role?” A question like this shows that you're already envisioning yourself in the role and thinking in advance of solutions, should you land the gig. It's also a sign that you're well aware that no job comes free of roadblocks. The answer you receive should give you a better understanding of some of the less-than-ideal aspects of the job, such as bureaucratic processes, long work hours, and so on. You can use that information to decide if the job is a good fit for you.
5) Questions about the interviewer
If your interviewer has been with the company for some time, understanding why could give you some really interesting insight into the company, the culture, and a deeper understanding of what motivates the people who work there. Questions such as “Why did you decide to work at this company?” or “You've been at this company for a while. What keeps you motivated?” gives the interviewer an opportunity to share more about themselves, as well as pitch the company to promising candidates. Plus, it shows you've dug into your research on the interviewer, which is sure to impress.