Questions You should Ask in an Interview

You are Allowed to Ask

During a job interview, the interviewer or hiring manager is not the only one who can ask questions. Since an interview is based on communication, it’s always two-way. As such, you, being the one interviewed, can also ask the interviewer questions and when a question is being asked, it needs an answer in return. In some instances, the interviewer may pause and ask you if you have any questions or concerns before he/she continues, so be prepared to ask your questions respectfully. When asking your interviewer a question, you must keep in mind that you should always be courteous and professional. Your demeanor reflects upon your work ethic and character so as the cliché goes: first impressions last.

Keep in mind you are not asking questions just for the sake of asking. You are asking questions because you want to know more about the job and the company as a whole. You may also wish to clarify certain things on the job description or perhaps request for your interviewer to elaborate other matters regarding the work conditions. Take note that employers keep note of applicants who ask good questions because they believe that asking the right questions is another way of learning new things. It also shows not just the interest of the candidate but also makes evident his forward-thinking skills and ability to communicate with his/her superiors.

The Right Questions

During the course of your interview, it is important to ask smart questions or those that would serve to highlight your interest. In fact, the more questions you ask, the better understanding of your future you will get. Applicants are advised to regularly ask questions not only when they wish to clarify details that interviewer may have mentioned, but also to find out how they can be successful in said position. Be sure to listen intently and to understand the interviewer’s answers.

Below are some of the most commonly asked questions by applicants to their respective interviewers. Beside them are explanations on how to interpret and understand possible answers:

  1. Has the job role’s scope evolved over the years? This question explores the growth opportunities within the company. The interviewer may explain to you the main goals and objectives of the one being hired for that specific position. If it requires someone to work on other things that are not included in the job description, it will be mentioned. Also, the interviewer will explain how the position has expanded in terms of responsibilities and working hours.
  2. What attributes and skills are required to succeed in this position? The interviewer might use previous employees’ experience in that position and how he/she managed to be successful while working. The interviewer might also enumerate traits of his//her previous employees that have negatively or positively affected their work.
  3. What have you enjoyed most about working for this company? The interviewer will simply explain the benefits and perks he/she enjoys while working at the company. It would be noteworthy to add that if the interviewer is struggling to answer this question, chances are that he/she is unhappy at their work place.
  4. What are 3 aspects of the job role that would be my priority? You may learn more about what is expected from you for the first 3 months of your career in the company, if successfully hired.
  5. What good qualities should a manager possess? This is only applicable if you are applying for a managerial position. The interviewer will enumerate the traits he/she believes a good manager should possess. He/she will emphasize on the skills needed to lead the company towards a good future, and that he/she believes that a good manager will always act in the best interest of the company and employees.

The Limitations

While you are allowed to ask questions to the interviewer, there are also limitations in terms of the type of questions that you can ask. There are questions that you should not ask your interviewer such as his/her background, especially if the interviewer is a high-ranking officer of the company. You should not ask the questions of “What if…” during the interview because it will make it seem that you doubt your own capabilities. Although you can ask details on perks and benefits once officially hired, you should never ask how much your salary will be or when you can expect your first paycheck during your job interview. That will instantly give the interviewer the impression that you went for the interview for the salary and not for the job itself. Never ask questions that you know might hamper your chances of getting hired. As mentioned, when you ask the right questions, you will get the right answers.