For many job seekers, a good interview takes a downturn once the hiring manager asks if they have any questions. Never forget that an interview is an audition, and it shows poor judgement when you shrug off the chance to gain deeper insight about the job. Save these shrewd interview questions for the final Q&A to impress the hiring manager and find out if the job is truly right for you.
1. What Do You Like Most About the Company?
Interviewers are supposed to sell the company to job seekers, so your inner skeptic should be on high alert if they can't think of good things to say about an employer. When interviewers speak openly, you have the chance to bond on a personal level and learn lesser-known highlights of the job.
Body language is equally important, as many interviewers are used to squeezing out forced statements. Be wary when you see signs of hesitation, such as pursed lips, lack of eye contact or a sudden stiff disposition.
2. How Is This Company Different from Competitors?
Asking how the company differentiates itself is a sign that you have standards and genuine motivation to find the right fit. Show interviewers you do your homework and understand the industry well enough to choose a company culture that aligns with your skills and priorities. Employers don't want desperate job seekers who dive in headfirst without caring how a specific company operates.
3. What Stood Out About My Resume?
Get a read on the employer's hiring goals by asking why you were chosen for an interview. Interviewers have to explain the highlights of your application in their own words, which gives you the lowdown on qualities, skills and experiences that are most valuable to the employer. Even if you don't land the job, getting one-on-one feedback from a hiring professional helps you fine-tune your resume for other applications.
4. What Distinguishes a High Performer from an Average Worker?
Earn brownie points for being a candidate who aims for excellence, not mediocrity. This question shows that you're confident, strategic and focused on getting positive results.
5. What Are the Department's Biggest Challenges?
Stand out as a purposeful job seeker who is only interested in roles where you can make an impact. All companies have specific strengths, weaknesses and obstacles, and it's beneficial to everyone to find out whether your skills are suited to tackling the employer's problems. Ask this interview question to gauge your compatibility and boost your competitive advantage when possible. You might uncover an opportunity to share compelling experiences that didn't come up earlier in the discussion.
6. How Do You Evaluate a Successful Hire?
As a job seeker, you should request as much clarity as possible about the structure of the job and your future boss's expectations. Is the job an established role or a new position without clearly defined responsibilities? Is there a backlog of work to get caught up on? Learn what an employer expects you to accomplish in the first few months, and decide if you're comfortable managing these objectives.
Smart job seekers do thorough reconnaissance upfront to avoid bad career moves. Instead of only focusing on an employer's needs, use this Q&A discussion to determine whether a job is compatible with your career goals.
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