10 Effective questions to ask during an interview

–By Debra Prentice, Market Development Director

 

Asking effective questions at the end of the interview not only shows interest in the position; but asking relevant questions during the interview will ensure the company is a good mutual fit for both parties.  The goal of any interview is to ensure the tone is conversational but also to ensure that it is a two-way conversation.

Asking relevant questions during and at the end of interview helps you gain insights to the company but will also ensure that you are memorable. If you are not the only one interviewing for the position, more than likely your interview is one of many that the interviewer has conducted. Engaging your interviewer in effective questions keeps your interviewer focused on your conversation and can distinguish you from the other candidates.

1.  Is there anything we discussed so far that needs clarification?

While this may not be the most exciting end-of-interview question, it is an effective question to close the gap on any concerns he/she has about hiring you. 

 

2.  What are the next steps?

 

This is another standard, but valid interview question.  This will give you a time frame to work with when sending a follow up email or phone call on status updates.  During that time frame, it is best to just send one thank you note to the interviewer. Having a clear understanding of how long the company needs to make their decision will also minimize your concerns  about waiting for an answer.

 

 

3.  What is the company culture like?

The environment where you work is extremely important to your job satisfaction, and ultimately your tenure and productivity. This is a mutually beneficial question for both parties.  While skill sets are important, a good cultural fit is equally important. According to Fortune Magazine and a study by Fidelity, “Millennials would take an average pay cut of $7,600 if they could improve their career development, find more purposeful work, better work-life balance, or a better company culture”.

 

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4.  What keeps your boss’s boss up at night?

This is an interesting and open-ended question that will give you insights to theWoman-working-late-at-night organization and give you insights to your interviewer’s perspective.  Knowing what keeps your boss’s boss up night is a question that most managers who are looking to promote should know and asking it in your interview will give you insight on the internal workings of the company.  Ensure that you only ask this question if it is relevant to the interview, and if you feel the interviewer is willing to answer this question.

 

 5.  If there is one thing that you see as an area of opportunity for the company, or if there were one thing that you could change about the company – what would that be?

 

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6.  How do new ideas or improvements get implemented?

This question should give you insights on how receptive the company is to innovation or at least how the chain of command works.

 

7.  How does this company measure success?

Individual companies have varying ways to measure success, but a company that does not have a clear strategy to measure success may have overall business strategy problems. According to Laura Fedorciow at the Guardian, “… if you are embedding impact measurement within your organization, then it sets up very visible ways of judging the success of an organization and showing that it is delivering to its beneficiaries… and is willing to be held accountable for its performance.”  As an employee, you understand your performance will be measured; you also want to ensure that the company measures its own performance.

 

 

 

8.  What is your favorite part about working for this company and how long have you been here?

 

9.  What was a difficult situation your company faced, and how was the team able to overcome it?

For this question, again know your audience. If you feel your interviewer is not up for this question or your company was involved in negative publicity, it is best to skip this question.

 

10.  What are the opportunities for advancement or to growth within the company?

Growing in a position is important. One of the top reasons millennials leave their job is a lack of opportunity for growth; and millennials are now the largest segment in the workforce.  Knowing if you can grow with the company is one of the most important questions to ask during an interview.