You hear a lot about what not to say at an interview these days. But ever wonder if there’s anything they're specifically looking for you to say? Figure out how to answer the dreaded, “Do you have any questions for us?” question with aplomb by considering a few of these gems.
1. "How does this position contribute to your goals for this department/company?"
Bang! You’re mindful of the fact that your role will be a part of a larger whole. You’re forward thinking enough to wonder how you can contribute. And you’re sensitive enough to the company’s goals to see how it fits into their big picture or bottom line. Bonus points if you can flip the question: just name a few of the goals for the company you already know line up with this position and then ask how else a new hire in that position might contribute or accelerate that impact?
2. "What do your most successful hires usually do in their first month with you?"
You’re not just going to get the job and slouch into complacency. You’re there to slay. This shows you want to hit the ground running—and that you’re eager to help. As a bonus, you might get some insight into the company’s as-yet-unknown quirks.
3. "How would you measure success in this role?"
The interview is actually the prime time to ask this question. Again, it shows your forward thinking and your desire to excel and exceed their expectations. It also gives you a great blueprint for how to render yourself an asset as quickly as possible—much better than a vague idea of the tasks required and the typical workload.
4. "What recent accomplishments have meant the most to you and your team, and why?"
Bonus points if you can cite some of these accomplishments, or have done enough research to say there have been many. This question allows you to show off your excellent listening skills. Look! It’s not all about you! You’re a great and generous colleague! Plus, people love to talk about themselves. It’s a great icebreaker, even for midway or almost-all-the-way through an interview.
5. "What opportunities are there for professional development?"
Doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be comfortable or happy in the position offered. But does mean that you’re hungry. That you would be willing to work up in the company. And that they might be hiring someone who will go the distance with them. Try to emphasize your enthusiasm about the company itself.
6. "What are some biggest challenges that might need to be faced?"
Whether you ask about the team’s challenges—i.e. recent challenges they may have faced and how they handled them—or about obstacles or roadblocks that might come up for you in your new position, this shows that you’ve got your eyes open and are ready to troubleshoot and make sure you transition in and start succeeding without running into any foreseeable hurdles.
7. "What do you love about this company?"
This one could be framed as: “Why did you decide to work here?” or even “You’ve been at this company a while, what keeps you motivated by being here?” You can learn a lot about the company culture as well as its structure this way. Plus, it gives you a break from talking about yourself.
8. "What is your client service philosophy?"
Really, you should try to ascertain this before the interview. But there are ways to ask about this that make you seem customer service oriented and proactive. As well as sensitive to balancing your company’s needs versus that of your client.
9. "Do you have any questions or concerns about my experience?"
Seems like cheating. But it’s a great way to give yourself a moment to explain any holes in your resume or further justify the ways in which you might meet the listed job requirements. It’s a great way to give one last defense of yourself before the decisions are made. And, who knows, you could just assuage someone’s concerns enough to make them hire you.
10. "What are some of the intangible qualities of successful team members here?"
You want to know what that certain je ne sais quoi might be that helps employees of this company excel. Your interviewer might be eager to talk about the soft skills involved in the job—which are rarely asked about in interviews. It’s also a great sneaky way to get a sense of culture and what the company will value most to see if you’d be a good or bad fit.
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