Job interviews are not just a way for your potential future employer to get to know you - they’re also a great way for you to get to know the organization and the people you might work with one day.
Of course, nine times out of ten the part of the interview where you get to ask questions comes at the end. This means that the questions you ask can have a big impact on how your interview ends and how the interviewer remembers you.
I spoke with Talent Management Coordinator at ArcelorMittal Dofasco, Kayla Vink, for her perspective on candidate questions: “Candidate questions are always welcomed - in fact, I strongly encourage them! I believe it facilitates a positive dialogue between candidates and the employer where they can further express their interest in the role and can help determine if it’s the right fit for their career.”
So what are some good questions to ask?
Here are 7 questions that you should consider asking at the end of your next interview:
- What is your best advice to someone joining your team?
This question gives great insight to how you could be a fit within this specific team, and what the interviewer is looking for in a candidate (also my personal favourite!).
- What is the most unexpected thing you’ve learned while working here?
Most interviewers are probably used to hearing, “What is your favourite part about working here?”. They may not be anticipating this question, so it will encourage them to share a unique experience and will also give you some different stories and insights to the team and company.
3. A (insert period of time here) down the road, what can I have done in this role for you to look back and say, “I knew (insert pronouns here) would be a great hire!”
This shows the interviewer that you are results-oriented - you want to know what success looks like within this role so that you can make it happen!
4. Is there anything I could do before starting this job to set me up for success?
This will likely make you stand out as a high-achiever, already looking at what you can do to succeed and achieve positive outcomes within the role!
5. Is there a project you’re working on right now that you’re really excited about?
If they’re allowed to share, this will give you some insight to what’s going on internally and the interviewer will get to show their passion for their projects!
6. What are some of the biggest challenges faced by this department?
This is a great question to ask as it will tell you a lot about how the company reacts to challenges and change. It’s also a great opportunity for you to understand how you may be able to help!
7. What does your recruitment timeline look like?
This is a great ‘next steps’ question, and a great way to close the interview so you’re not wondering what’s next!
While it’s ALWAYS a good idea to ask questions, it is not a good idea to ask them all.
Of course, there is no perfect number, but I’d say keeping it between 2-4 is usually a safe range. You should also always see if your interviewer has a hard stop, so you know how many questions you can get through in the time you have left.
Remember: you’re seeing if the company is a good fit for you, just as much as they are seeing if you’ll be a good fit for them! By preparing ahead of time and asking thoughtful questions, it will make the decision easier for you both!
Now, get out there and nail your interview! I know your interviewer is going to be so impressed!