Questions That Work in Your Favor
A past client reached out with both excitement and anxiety: the application she recently submitted resulted in a request to be available for an interview the very next day. We had previously built her a new résumé from scratch and were thrilled she came back for interview tips. In this case, she requested ideas for what she should ask her interviewers.
Online collections of sample interview questions abound. This article is certainly not exhaustive; we want to provide 3 specific questions you can ask your interviewer(s) that will require them to provide more than a “yes” or “no” response. Open-ended questions like these result in more context to help you confirm if the role is actually one that you want. Additionally, the questions below should work for most job seekers regardless of industry or role.
The interview is a pivotal moment in your career journey. Let these questions be tools with which you equip yourself so when you’re asked by an interviewer, “Do you have any questions for me?” you’re not lacking. If you find yourself wanting additional guidance from a Certified Employment Interview Professional (CEIP™) who’ll even conduct a mock-interview with you by phone, please note that we provide such a resource.
And now, the questions!
Why is this position available?
Sometimes, the answer to this may be offered by the interviewer in the course of their introduction. If not, make it a priority to learn this information as it can either solidify your interest in the role or reveal potential red flags.
You may learn any of the following, which are real-life answers we heard ourselves or from others:
- Someone was recently terminated for missing too many deadlines (i.e., potential red flag).
- The team is growing, and this is a brand-new position (i.e., a good sign!).
- There’s actually many similar positions open that leadership approved us to fill so we can shore up bandwidth issues. If you’re offered the position and accept, you’ll be one of multiple new folks coming on board.
What does success look like by Day 90?
Interviewers will appreciate and respect this question for a variety of reasons:
- It shows you want to hit the ground running, with a plan of tasks worked out before you even start.
- It demonstrates a forward-looking mindset.
- It helps align your expectations with the company’s goals.
- It subtly conveys confidence that you’re a fit for the role and that you anticipate an offer.
What does a typical day in the role look like?
This is a question specifically designed to provide more context that helps confirm in your mind if you’re a good fit for the role and if the role is a good fit for you. Ideally, the answer to this question will reveal things like:
- If the position require days full of meetings and interactions or if it’s a solitary role as an individual contributor with little cross-departmental collaboration.
- The pace of workflow.
- If there’s a major new project or initiative about to kick off.
- If you can expect to be in training for a certain number of days or weeks after you start.
We hope these questions give you a little something extra for your toolbox. Have an example of a different question you’ve asked an interviewer? Share it in the comments below – other job seekers will appreciate it!