Here’s the scenario: You just nailed the interview, answered every question intelligently, and even got the interviewer to crack a smile. Now here comes the final phase, “Do you have any questions for us?” Make sure that you are prepared with sharp timely questions about the job. Here are a few questions to keep in your back pocket.
What would my priorities be in the first 3 months, 6 months, first year, and how will my success be measured and communicated? In a job description and even in the early interviews, the description of a role may be a long list of possible responsibilities and projects. To get a better sense of what the key challenges and what the milestones are, ask for clarification. It will help pinpoint the priorities for you, and it will signal to the interviewer that you are motivated by achieving success.
What are the biggest challenges facing the team right now, and what improvements would you expect me to make? Asking a question like this positions you as a problem-solving team player. It also will give you insight to the ways your skill set may be immediately applied to add value. It will also expose potential pitfalls of the role, giving you a more balanced view of the opportunity. Use this question to provide some recommendations during the interview, or suggest that you’d like to get back to the interviewer with some ideas after you’ve had a chance to think about it post-interview. You’ve just created a reason to follow up!
What do your best employees say about working here (or) Why do you like working here? It is just as important to learn about the company culture as it is to learn about the role. Asking this question shows that you want to make sure you connect with the culture and the people with whom you’ll be working. By asking the question directly to the interviewer (who may be your boss), their answer will also give you insight to what they value about the workplace and the team, and whether their preferences align with yours.
Can you tell me why you chose your position at this company, and what your career has been like here? This is a good question to get the interview to feel less like an interrogation of you, and more like a conversation with another professional. It engages the interviewer to talk a bit about themselves, while providing insight to how careers progress at the organization, what is rewarded, what’s valued. This rapport-building exchange may lead to a more relaxed exchange, resulting in more honest and transparent details about the role and company.