9 Compelling Questions to Ask in Your Next Interview

When preparing for your next interview, figuring out how to tell your own story is only half the battle. A stand-out applicant is one who comes ready with insightful questions, too.

Asking the right questions can show your analytical thinking skills and demonstrate your curiosity – a good characteristic in a lifelong learner and hard worker.

Here are 9 questions to have on hand in your next interview:

Ask About the Organization

Showing that you think big picture is a sign that you’re interested in the overall mission and vision for the organization, as well as the broader landscape in which the organization operates.

It also allows the interviewer to give their own opinion about their experience within the organization, which can be a telling opportunity to hear more about what you’re really in for, should you choose to work there.

You might consider asking:

  1. How do you feel [THE ORGANIZATION] works with – or alongside – other actors in the same space?
  2. I realize the overarching mission for the company is [THEIR MISSION], how do you feel that approach informs the day-to-day operations here?
  3. What do you like best about working here?

Ask About the Role

One of the biggest reasons employees feel stuck in a job they don’t like is because the role they end up assuming isn’t what they signed up for when they first accepted the job. So get crystal clear on what the expectations and responsibilities will be for the position you’re interviewing for – and how likely they are to change over time.

You might consider asking:

  1. How much of this role do you think will involve working directly with others versus working independently?
  2. I realize what the big-picture goals are for my position, but how do you see this role taking shape on the day-to-day basis?
  3. Can you tell me more about opportunities for growth beyond this role and these responsibilities? How often do employee’s roles seem to expand here, and what’s the protocol for that?

Ask About the Future

Thinking ahead shows that you’re looking for a long-term commitment, something that all hiring managers like to hear in the interview process. So be sure to ask questions about the organization’s future – and how you might fit into it, as it grows in pursuit of its long-term vision.

You might consider asking:

  1. How will success be measured for my role in the first 30 to 90 days on the job?
  2. What are the biggest challenges you think the organization is facing in the coming year, and how might I help?
  3. Can you tell me more about the grand vision you have for this role, this department, or this company?

By giving the person on the other side of the table an opportunity to speak his or her mind and weigh in with insightful contributions, you’ll not only learn more about the organization and your prospective future coworkers, but you’ll also show that you’re not just here to please and say whatever you think is “the right answer” in the interview. You’re here to learn more and see if this is the right organization for you.

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