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5 Top Questions to Ask During an Interview

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Some companies continue to hire aggressively during the Great Reshuffle, while others are laying employees off en masse. This unpredictability highlights how the interviewing process isn’t only for the company to decide whether they want to hire you. It’s also for you to determine whether the company offers an opportunity that fits into your long-term plans. Luckily, asking your interviewer questions is standard practice. In fact, it’s likely to improve your chances of landing a job. Read on to find out good interview questions to ask to help you identify the perfect job opportunity.

What Questions to Ask in a Job Interview

Interviewing your interviewer can seem a little backward, but it’s best to come with some questions prepared. These queries will help you determine if the role is a good fit. They also give the interviewer the impression you’re proactive and forward-thinking.

“If you’re prepared… and want to shine, it’s important to have some good questions to ask at the end,” Nomana Mirza, HR and culture manager at Absolute Digital Media, says. “This is one way that you can separate yourself from other applicants.”

Here are some great questions to ask at your next interview and what kind of answers to look for.

1. What Are the Day-to-Day Responsibilities of the Role?

Reading the job description helps you determine if a position is the right fit for you. However, it can often leave out more minor responsibilities—or even the fact that the scope of the role may change frequently. For this reason, during an interview, you’ll want to clarify what day-to-day responsibilities you’ll have.

“The interviewer’s reaction to questions asked by candidates can say a lot about the reality of things,” Yolaine Amaro, career adviser and resume expert at Resume Genius, says. “In this case, if they try to dodge the question, this is a sign that the work experience candidates will get may differ from what they were expecting from the job description.”

Asking this question also shows hiring managers that you care about the work you’ll be doing. In addition, it can demonstrate your interest in the position and show that you’re a proactive candidate. (Looking for more concrete answers? Forage offers free virtual work experiences to help you experience the day-to-day duties in various roles at major U.S. companies.)

2. Are There Opportunities for Advancement Within the Company?

The day-to-day responsibilities seem like a perfect fit for you, but is there room for your professional growth? Being stuck in a job with no path forward is a quick way to start feeling stagnant in your career and possibly underpaid.

Make sure you ask about training and advancement opportunities for employees. If a company doesn’t promote from within, you may want to look for one that does. If your interviewer is reluctant to give solid answers, try asking what their personal experience of growth within the company has been like instead.

3. How Will You Measure the Success of the Person in This Role?

Knowing what success looks like in the role you’re applying for will help you understand an employer’s expectations. For example, ask about past project timelines or the key performance indicators (KPIs). You may also want to ask how often you’ll get performance reviews to ensure the company doesn’t let good work go unnoticed—and unrewarded.

“Company A may have different metrics than Company B,” Amanda Royle, co-founder and personnel supervisor at Imgkits Studio, says. “Knowing which kind of metrics your future company is using will help you plan your strategy well … As they say, before entering the battlefield, know your game plan.”

Additionally, this question can help you gauge whether the role expectations are reasonable and leave room for a good work-life balance. Even the most exciting opportunity can take a toll on your well-being if you often have to work overtime.

The interviewer, in turn, may see this question as a signal that you’re determined and ambitious. Your potential employer wants a candidate who strives for success.

4. What Are the Company’s Plans for Development?

Ensuring the company has a plan for the future is another important factor to consider. With massive layoffs affecting many well-known companies in the tech sector, you want to make sure you don’t put your career in the hands of an employer that won’t be able to afford you a year later.

Ask about a company’s funding and vision for the near future to see how secure the employer is in their plans and how you can fit into them.

Plus, hiring managers are looking for applicants who will stick around long-term. So showing interest in the company’s future sends the message that you care about where the company is going and the role you’ll have in getting it there.

5. What Do You Enjoy About Your Job?

Knowing other people’s experiences working at the same company or on the same team is essential when making decisions about your next job. This question turns the interview tables and makes the interviewer sell their working experience to you.

“While the role candidates apply for is important, it’s also essential for candidates to know if they’d enjoy working at a specific company,” Amaro says. “Candidates can gain a better insight into what it’s like to work for a company by asking the interviewers for an internal and personal perspective.”

You’re looking to see how your interviewer feels about their job and what they think about the company. Opportunities for advancement are another critical detail to elicit. If the answer leaves you unconvinced, it may be a red flag you shouldn’t ignore.

The Bottom Line

While you can use these questions across interviews, make sure you come up with some specific to the company and the role you’re seeking. An interview is your opportunity to find out what the company and workplace are like, so take advantage of it. Plus, the hiring manager will appreciate your interest.

“Candidates arriving at an interview with good questions will definitely come across as more interested in the position and give a better impression to the interviewer,” Amaro says. “At the same time, asking questions can help candidates see if the position and company are the right fit for them and help them decide if it’s a job they want.”

Do you have an interview coming up? Prepare for these common interview questions asked by hiring managers across careers.

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