Interviews are undeniably nerve-wracking, so it’s easy to forget that while your questions should impress the interviewer, your questions should also be important questions that you are genuinely curious about.
Here are five critical questions you should ask at the end of an interview to:
1. prove you’ve done your homework
2. set yourself up for future success when you follow-up with the recruiter/hiring manager
3. get yourself some much-needed clarity
Five Questions to Ask to Impress Your Interviewer:
- What are opportunities for advancement within this role?
- What do you see as the most challenging part of this position?
- What qualities are you looking for in the person you hire?
- How would I receive feedback about how well I’m meeting expectations?
- Is there anything you see in my experiences, on my resume, or after this conversation, that leads you to believe I am not qualified for this role? Is there any feedback you can offer me?
Why They Work:
Question One: This shows you’re ambitious, and that you desire the opportunity to be challenged. Plus, it’s a legitimate question you should be curious about, because it will tell you where this opportunity could lead for you. (If you’re dying to be a leader within two-years, but the recruiter tells you this role typically does not move into a leadership position—that’s helpful to know, isn’t it?)
Question Two: This helps you understand what types of hurdles you can expect… and, better yet, if (sorry, WHEN) you get a follow-up interview, you can mention that you’re ready to tackle these very specific challenges. Or, after you ask this question, you can always respond, “Oh, that’s great! I’m glad that you said public speaking is the #1 challenge in this role, because I’m well prepared to tackle this challenge, and here’s how…”
Question Three: This is my all-time favorite question in the list—why? Because you can use this information immediately after the interview. Send a follow-up email thanking the recruiter for their time, and add, “Your description of the types of qualities you look for when hiring for this role—someone who is eager to learn, and someone who is an excellent communicator—made me even more excited about this opportunity, because I believe I am someone who matches these qualities.” How perfect?! You just showed you’re a good listener, while affirming for them that you’re exactly who they’re looking for.
Question Four: This shows that you’re eager for constructive feedback. Plus, it’s a good thing to know! How will you be evaluated? It’ll make a difference if they say, “Google Analytics,” or, “Our client’s personal opinion,” won’t it?
Question Five: Again, this is a great question because it shows you desire feedback and welcome criticism, BUT it’s also the scariest question in the list—trust me, I know! It takes a good amount of confidence to ask this question, but then again… Wouldn’t you rather hear now, rather than later, what might make a hiring manager hesitate before hiring you? Plus, the recruiter, or whomever you’re speaking with, can take this in any direction he/she pleases: they might say, “No, nothing stands out to me, I’ll be in touch,” and leave it at that; or, they might say, “Actually, your answer to my third question was disconcerting because XYZ, so next time you answer that question, maybe say ABC instead?” Whether or not you’re hired for this position, you’ve just ensured that you won’t make the same mistakes at your next interview… and if you learned something, it wasn’t a waste of your time, was it?
When in doubt, just remember how Brennan and Dale in Step Brothers answered the “what are your weaknesses” question: “We’re not generally comfortable in an office setting. I get cooped up. I won’t go into an office that’s ever been used before. I am no good before 11 a.m. I also get headaches from computers, so I can’t be around them too long. I take stuff. I need someone to go up and down with me in the elevator.”
Or, who they listed as their reference: “Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.”
So, yeah… Just make sure to do the opposite of that (maybe, more like Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness?), and you’ll be all set.
Here are some other hilarious movie interviews for further inspiration… of what to do, and what NOT to do.
Need more career advice? Check out our other posts.