Preparing for the job interview is one of the most crucial steps in any job search. Demonstrating that you've researched the role, the company and people working there indicates your interest in the opportunity, but pre-interview preparation doesn't stop there.
The most overlooked key to succeeding in an interview, even by the most qualified of candidates, is the questions you ask a potential employer. Because asking the wrong ones, or worse, not asking any at all, will give the impression of disinterest or of a passive nature.
Asking the right questions during a job interview, however, will not only demonstrate the qualities, skills and experience that piqued the employer's interest, doing so will also help you decide whether the opportunity is the right fit with your expectations.
These are the questions that will help you qualify if an opportunity is the right fit:
1. What do you like most about the company?
Corporate culture is important -- with 88% of employees believing that a distinct workplace culture is important to an organization's success. Asking this question gives you a chance to get an insider’s perspective into what it’s like to actually work within that company. However, pay attention to body language. Is the hiring manager suddenly distracted or avoiding eye contact? These could be red flags that he or she doesn't actually enjoy their employment.
2. Is there anything about my experience that you need more clarification on?
Clarity. To reach it, all you have to do is ask. This question shows you're interested in making a good impression and providing as much information about yourself as possible. You want to end the conversation knowing the hiring manager didn't have any other outstanding questions about your experience as it relates to the job role.
3. What are the top traits that your best employees have in common?
Performance matters. This questions gives you an insight into what your potential employer will expect from you. An organization can’t operate with just a single personality trait, but asking this will give you a good indication as to whether or not the company and position are a fit with your personal and professional goals.
4. Did someone previously hold this position? If so, what did they do to be successful in the role?
Technically, this is a two-parter, but both will help you delve deeper into the company's expectations of your position. Knowing if someone got promoted, eliminated or if it's a fresh role will help you understand what you'll need to accomplish to be successful.
5. What is the top priority for the person in the position within the first 90 days?
This is a helpful question to as it sets productivity expectations, and if you get the role, you’ll also know what to focus on from the beginning.
6. Can you tell me a little more about the team I'll be working with?
There are many types of personalities in the workplace, and asking this question will help you determine if the ones currently on the team are ones you would work well with.
7. What are the company’s goals for this year?
Asking about the company’s goals will give you a good idea about the direction and ambition of the brand. Can you rally behind them? Can you contribute to making them a reality? Do they get you excited about wanting to be a part of the strategy?
The right fit is out there. And it’s waiting for you.
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