If you want a job in today’s business environment, the hard work starts when you prepare for the interview. That means not just nailing the interview questions you are asked, but actually asking the kinds of questions designed to make the interviewer sit up and take notice. It’s no longer enough to be qualified. You have to shine, and there’s no better way to show your excellence than by asking excellent questions. These questions could also help you avoid a bad boss before it’s too late.
1. What role will I fill?
When it comes to an employee’s role in a business’s strategy, the job title explains only so much. You are filling a void on the living, breathing team. Is this company hoping for an ideas person, a mentor to other employees, a creative force, a rule follower, a rule breaker? Get to the specifics of “who” your position is supposed to be.
2. Why does this role matter to the growth of the company?
Use this question to explore the expected level of engagement. Are you more comfortable being in a low- or a high-impact role? Do you want to be in a role that is universally respected within the company or are you okay being the undercover hero?
3. Who would my colleagues be?
The best interviews include three to four team members. If that is not the case in your interview, use this question to gain insight into team dynamics and personalities. These are the people you will spend every day with, so they need to pass “the airplane test” – someone you would enjoy sitting next to on a long flight.
4. What would I be doing that makes your job easier?
This question has two benefits–you will find out who is going to lean on you the heaviest and what you will need to do to keep the other teammates happy. The answers to this question will be the immediate problems each team member is hoping you will solve.
5. What are additional important skills I will need to do this job well?
What are the soft skills needed for this particular job? Find out if the company needs someone who is also a self-starter or works well in teams. This is also an excellent time to bring up any additional skills you have that are appropriate for position.
6. How does the company measure success?
Identifying how your progress in this position will be measured will give you a better idea of whether or not you will be successful. Get specifics on what your deliverables will be per project. Ask about common work habits of people who have had this position in the past whom the company considered successful.
7. What would you expect from me this month, in three months, and in a year?
Chances are that your employer has a trajectory for your role in mind. Find out what you will need to deliver in the next coming months. Ask yourself if this pace feels doable for the way you work.
8. What is your mission?
This is one of the most important questions you can ask. Research shows that employees are most happy when their goals align with those of their employers. Get philosophical here and find out why you are both here in this room and if you want the same things.
Questions are the best way to demonstrate that you understand the company’s challenges, emphasis how you can help the company meet them and show your interest in the most unmistakable manner possible – by actually asking for the position.