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Monday, October 19, 2015

5 Questions You Should Ask To Stand Out At Your Next Job Interview

By Mo Chanmugham, Esq.

You know how important it is to shine in a job interview, you make sure to wear your best interview suit, you research the organization and the interviewer, and you practice answering potential interview questions, perhaps doing a mock interview with a counselor in Career Services. Now imagine that you get to the interview and because of your preparation the interview is going great. You are charming, interesting, and articulate and the interview feels more like a conversation then an interrogation. Then the interviewer asks their final question, “Do you have any questions for me?” All of a sudden your mind goes blank, you can’t think of a question to ask. You say, “No” and the interview comes to a screeching halt. What felt like the makings of a great interview now feels like you are living one of those cautionary tales about what not to do on an interview.

To avoid this unfortunate scenario, it is important to have a collection of go-to questions that you can always ask at the end of the interview. Good questions show the interviewer that you are prepared, thoughtful, and really want the job. You want to do everything you can to make sure that you are the one person they remember. To that end, here are 5 thought provoking and forward thinking questions you should ask to show an employer that you are the right candidate for the job.

1. What do you enjoy most about working here?

This question not only allows the interviewer to think about what they like about their job and puts a positive spin on the interview; it allows you to get an insider’s perspective as to some of the perks and benefits of the organization as well as its culture. Remember that you are interviewing the employer just as much as they are interviewing you.

2. What have past employees done to succeed in this position?

This question tells the interviewer that you really want to succeed in this new position and you are already thinking about what needs to be done. Based on the interviewer’s response you can highlight parts of your past experience that show you have the skills to succeed in this position.

3. What are some of the challenges the person who fills this role will face?

This question will show the interviewer that you are a true professional, someone who is mature and understands that challenges are to be expected as part of any job. You will also be able to describe how you could overcome these challenges based on your past experience.

4. What does success in this role look like 6 months from now and how will it be measured?

This question tells the interviewer that you are accustomed to performing and meeting demands. Their answer will help you understand what activities they prioritize in this position so that you can know what to focus on.

5. What are the next steps in this interview process?

This is a great question to wrap up the interview with because it helps you understand the employer’s timeline and allows you to discuss how best to follow up after the interview.

Remember that these questions are designed to highlight your qualifications and interest in the position as well as help you understand the employer’s challenges. What are some other questions that you could ask to show the employer you are the right person for the job?