How to Stand Out With the Questions You Ask in an Interview

08 Aug 2016 by

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Just about every interviewer will close an interview with, “So, do you have any questions for me?” (If they don’t give you a chance to ask questions, take that as a bad sign). Asking questions is just as big of an opportunity to impress your interviewers as any other question they ask you, and you need to go prepared.

There are two reasons you need to ask good questions: First, the quality of your questions can show your sincere interest in the company and confirm your qualifications for the position. Second, this is your chance to interview the employer, too–you need to make sure that this job would be a great fit. So take advantage of this opportunity to learn more and make yourself memorable.

Make sure to ask at least two questions when the time comes. However, prepare at least four in case your first two are answered earlier in the interview. The last thing you want to do is ask about what’s already been discussed.

There are a number of good questions to ask, but ideally you will use this as an opportunity to stand out from other candidates by asking an insightful question that interviewers don’t usually hear. Try to avoid the typical “What makes someone in this role highly successful?”, and “What would a typical day in this position look like?”, and distinguish yourself with a more original question. Here are 5 golden questions that will make the interviewer like you even more.

“What is the leadership style like here?”

This question says to the interviewer that you’re looking for deeper insight into the company culture and to see if you and the company would be a good fit. In other words, does the leadership in the company give a lot of direction and feedback, or would they leave you to work more independently? How is conflict resolved? Is there open communication within the company? Incompatible working styles can make a job very frustrating and impede productivity. On the other hand, a harmonious, mutually beneficial relationship between you and your supervisor will help you learn and perform more effectively, which will in turn lead to better results for your supervisor.

“How is success evaluated at this company?”

By asking this question, you’re showing that you want to succeed from the very beginning. You’re not just all talk, but you’ve already started thinking about how you can deliver the results this company is looking for. The answer to this question is also helpful for you to know whether or not this job is really within your skill set and abilities, and if the employer’s values align with your own.

“What made you decide to work here, and what has influenced you to stay?”

People like to talk about themselves. This question shows interest and builds rapport with the interviewer while still giving you insight as to what the company has to offer, especially long-term. Hopefully, he will show passion for his work, great respect for the company, and belief in its products and mission. If not, that’s a bad sign.

“One of your company values that I really respect is ______. How is that implemented in the workplace?”

Referring to company values demonstrates that you did your homework before the interview and that you care about the company’s integrity. This implies that you are a person of integrity and that you understand the importance of putting words into action. The answer to this question should also give insight as to whether or not the company is all talk, or if they mean what they say.

“Why should I choose this company over my other options?”

Now, you don’t want to ask this question with attitude or sass, but you also don’t want to come across as someone who would take any job he can get. By asking this question, you show that you are truly interested in working for a great company that’s the right fit for you, not just any company. This is a chance to turn the tables and hear the interviewer sell you on what they have to offer. If you are debating between multiple offers, the answer to this question should be very helpful in determining which offer you most want to accept. You should be able to decipher many pros and cons to each position and company on your own, but sometimes an inside perspective will give you some insight that you hadn’t thought of before.

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