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March 24, 2018

You’re scheduled for an interview with a company you really want to work with but have no idea what to expect. How do you leave a good impression on the interviewee? How do you make the person interview you know that you’re more than just interested in the job? How do you show them that you’re the right fit for the job?

You come prepared. You come prepared to ask questions and to engage in a back and forth dialogue.

At the end of most interviews, the hiring manager or your potential boss will tend to ask a pretty standard question:

Do you have any questions for me?

Your answer to this question alone could be the make or break between getting a job or being thrown into a pile filled with resumes that will never be seen again.

I’ve been on both sides of the job interview process over the last few years and the people who always impress are those who come equipped with questions they want answers to. I’ve only interviewed for a job a couple of times in my life and each time, I landed the job. In many ways, I’m batting 100% and can point to my preparation as being one of the key factors to ensuring I land the gig.

Here are some of the best and most impressive questions that you can ask during an interview:

Could you give an example of a typical working day?

This isn’t about impressing the interviewer, this is about ensuring that the job is something you actually want to do. I’ve seen many people apply for a job expecting one thing but being surprised by the answer to this question. What a job posting tells you about a job is often different from the realities of what a job entails. This question ensures that you know what you’re signing up for and aren’t met with any surprises.

What options are there for advancement?

The benefit of asking this question is two-fold. First, you get a chance to understand whether or not this place will give you an opportunity to grow into a new role. Unless you’re interviewing for a CEO position, this is going to be important if you’re looking for growth. Second, it shows the interviewer that you’re not interested in a short-term gig, you’re looking for a place to lay some roots and grow. 

Where do you see the company in 5 years?

Everyone loves to dream. This is a way to make the interviewee dream about the future and where they see the company going. If you’re being interviewed by the CEO, this question could have the potential to brighten their day as they get the chance to share their vision and dreams with you.

If you’re being interviewed by the director of a specific department, ask this person how they see the department changing over time. It’s the same question but with a slight modification that strokes their ego as it makes them feel a sense of ownership over their department. As a result, they’ll be emotionally connected to their answer and enjoy the experience of having a chance to dream.

What are the company weaknesses?

This is a tough one for some folks but if you want to really earn the respect of the interviewer, this is one question that shows you’re not just a pretty face. This is a question that most interviewers are going to ask you, so why not turn the tables on them?

What do you offer in regards to educating the staff?

You need to know if you’re going to be thrown to the wolves or if you’re going to have the opportunity to learn. The typical employer will mention that they do regular lunch and learns with their staff or maybe even give employees a credit towards Amazon books. The answer to this question will help you gauge how much the employer values education and training. One of the most important aspects of any career.

Why is the position open?

Did someone quit? Is someone on maternity leave? Or is this the first time the company has hired someone for this role? The answer to this question is important because it will offer some great insight around what you can expect for your day to day and whether or not the role is going to offer stability.

When can I expect to hear from you?

The intent of this question is simple; set an expectation. This information lets you know when you can expect to hear back from the interviewer and in the right situation, it can position you as someone who might have other options on the table.

So there you have it.

Seven questions that you can ask during an interview that will impress the hiring manager or your potential boss. The key to being a successful interview candidate is found in your preparation, confidence, and competence. Asking questions like those above is a great way to differentiate yourself from the pack and be seen as someone every organization would want on their team.

What questions have you asked during interviews that seemed to work well? What questions have completely left the interview stumped? Comment below or tweet us @HustleGrindCo – We’d love to hear from you.

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