5 Essential Questions to Ask In A Job Interview
A job interview is an opportunity to have an engaging conversation between the candidate and the interviewer. Even the most qualified candidates still often find it difficult to ask hard-hitting (yet thoughtful) questions.
Asking insightful questions can help you leave the interview feeling more confident and better informed about the position. Read on to find out our five essential questions you should ask during a job interview.
1. ‘What are the biggest challenges I’ll face in the first 90 days, and how will success be measured?’
Ninety days is the typical probationary period when an organization determines whether hiring you was the right decision. So it’s good to be prepared and have a strong understanding of what the expectations are and whether your experience and skills indicate you’re right for the role.
If the challenges sound overwhelming, don’t be concerned, because as a new hire you’ll often be given time to settle in along with additional training and learning opportunities.
2. ‘Is there anything about my background that makes you hesitant to move me forward in the interview process?’
Showing a sense of self-awareness can demonstrate maturity and accountability, although the response you get may be hard to digest, it’s better to know during the early stages of the interview. This will allow you to have a chance to address the employer’s perceptions and change the narrative, increasing your career development prospects.
3. ‘How does my background compare to other candidates you’re interviewing?’
Being in the dark about how your skills stack up against your competition can have a negative effect on your interview experience. If the interviewer mentions an area where you appear weaker, you can explain how your experience demonstrates those desired skills. Or, you can use the opposite tactic and discuss the unique skills you have that the other candidates might not.
4. ‘I know the pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption for many organizations. How are you, as a manager, doing?’
Bringing a human element into your job interview can show empathy and emotional intelligence. Asking the interviewer to move away from standard talking points and to instead reflect on their personal experience is also a great way to get insight into organizational culture and how they deal with unexpected circumstances.
5. ‘Reflecting on your own experience, what have you seen the organization do to promote diversity?’
The aim of this question is to get a personal perspective that reflects the organization’s commitment to diversity. Has the organization made any changes in the past year? Have the results been positive?
The interviewer's response will help you determine how purpose-driven the organization is, and whether its values align with your own. This can give you a snapshot of how the workplace handles social issues and navigates these conversations.