6 Questions Smart Candidates Ask During A Job Interview

Interviews are fun, right?

Young man have job interview.

What’s so interesting about interviews is that it doesn’t matter how much you prepare; leave your house in the wee of the night to ensure you don’t arrive late, commit the company’s entire history to memory or even know the answers to the most common ridiculous questions they might decide to test you with, the one thing you can never know in advance is what the personality of the interviewer (or what mood they’ll be in) and how things will be going by the time they get to that most infamous of questions: “Do you have any questions?”

I am sure you are already know that the last thing you should say is “I don’t have any question”, even if you really don’t have a question. Although interviews are primarily employers asking you questions and you giving your best answers, the questions that you ask can sway the interview as much as the answers that you give. Asking questions is one way to immediately stand out from those too shy, arrogant or flustered to do the same. It also gives you the chance to take control for a few minutes, possibly the first and last time you will ever have control over your superiors. So please tell me why you would pass that up?

Here are some questions to ask during an interview to help show the recruiters that you have what it takes. Always put it at the back of your mind that the interview is a two-way street — you are interviewing the company as much as they are interviewing you. If you join their team, it should be in a mutually beneficial relationship.

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1. What makes your company special?

This question has got a lot of spunk, so gauge your audience well before asking. This particular question shows that you aren’t desperate and willing to settle for any job or organization. You refuse to undersell yourself — you have something valuable to offer and you know how much you are worth. You want to know that you won’t be giving your dedication and time to a company that is not worth it.

2. How Would my Role Affect the Business in the Short/Medium/Long Term?

I am fairly sure you have heard that you’re supposed to show that you care as much about what you can do for the company as what they can do for you. Now, this question will show that you care. Asking about how you will affect the company’s growth and contribute to its long-term missions and goals helps tell the recruiter that you care as much about what impact you can make as how much you’ll get for doing it.

It is also a good way to find out more about the company and where it’s headed, and their answer should tell you exactly who and what they’re looking for so you can make an educated decision on whether you’ll fit in. If your goals don’t align with theirs, you might want to reconsider how happy you could be there.

Job interview. Businesswoman having a job interview. [url=http://www.istockphoto.com/search/lightbox/9786622][img]http://dl.dropbox.com/u/40117171/business.jpg[/img][/url]

3. Why do you (the interviewer) like this company?

The reason I like this question is because it puts them on the spot (now they can share in your pain). It also gives you the chance to learn from an insider’s perspective what is good about the company (that is if he/she will be truthful).

4. What don’t you like about this company (what is this company’s greatest flaw)?

This is another really spunky question that should be used with all caution. I wouldn’t expect a very candid answer as most recruiters would want to give a diplomatic response and won’t be too honest. But, it gives you a chance to take control of the interview, and it can you show some insightful flaws in the company.

5. Do you Have Any Concerns or Hesitations I Can Address Before I go?

From experience, I understand that it is very difficult keeping track of everything that’s been said throughout the interview, I mean, in between trying to appear composed and remembering facts you crammed about the company, it can be quite difficult. So, this is a good way to get them to jog your memory about that thing you definitely wanted to bring up that you perhaps feel isn’t illustrated well enough by your resume and cover letter. It also gives you a chance to assure them that you do in fact have that skill they’re not sure you can deliver.

Depending on how confident you are, there are different ways to approach this. You might simply ask if there’s anything they’d like you to explain or ask what skills they consider important to the role. If you’re feeling a tad cocky, you might ask “What would a perfect candidate look like?” or, if you’re really comfortable (making sure you don’t come across as insecure or desperate), “What would you change about me to make me perfect?”

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6. What are the next steps in the interview process?

As every job seeker should know, a ‘thank you’ note should follow shortly after the interview. This question will give an idea of the timeframe they’re thinking of and what you can do in the meantime. It will also help you decide if you should be accepting other interviews, when you should expect an answer or, if you will never hear from them again. It will help you know when it’s appropriate to send a follow up email and find out what’s going on.

Apart from giving you an idea of how well you did in the interview, this question leaves an indelible mark in the mind of the recruiter. Recruiters like this question as it indicates a level of confidence; it shows that you are being forceful without being pushy. Candidates who act like they think there’s going to be a next step are less forgettable than those who end with a smile and a thank you and go away hoping for the best.

As with anyone else, the interviewers make judgments about you from the moment you walk into the room, and even the most brilliant of questions won’t help you succeed if you fail at the delivery. So you have to be good at the game.

What’s the best interview question you’ve ever asked? If you’re a hiring manager, what’s your favorite question? Let us know in the comments section below.

About Stellamaris Obomanu

Loves to read, loves to write, loves to laugh, loves life and yeah, she's as real as they come.

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