Don’t underestimate the importance of asking questions during an interview — it’s a great way to distinguish yourself from other candidates.
Here are six questions to ask your potential employer that will make you more appealing for the role:
1. What do you like best about working here, besides the people?
When you ask what your interviewer enjoys about his or her company, you’re not only showing interest in how much of a fit this company could be for you, but you’re showing interest in the interviewer and how he or she fits into the organization.
More importantly, take your question’s focus away from the people, because it’s certainly common to hear someone say they like their coworkers. (If you don’t, we’re genuinely sorry.)
You may hear about opportunities for growth and collaboration, as well as values like transparency. Great candidates appreciate company culture and good team dynamics, but they also want to see the bigger picture, beyond work besties.
2. What does success look like for this role one year from now?
Beyond conveying general interest in the position, it’s important to show that you care about its trajectory and meeting, if not exceeding, the expectations of the company.
You want to portray yourself as goal-oriented and someone who gets things done. If there’s another person currently in the role you’re applying for, ask what he or she has done well and what you can learn from it.
3. Tell me more about X initiative. I learned a bit on your website and I’m curious to know more about how it fits into your overall strategy.
This shows your interviewer that you’ve done your homework. And the more specific you get, the better.
Summarize what you learned and convey what you want to know. It’s a great way to say, “I’m already invested in your company.”
4. What is your leadership style and what type of employee do you lead most effectively?
Asking about specific leadership styles shows that it’s important to you that the way you work aligns with how the company operates.
Everyone has a different management style, and prefers to be managed in a different way.
When the puzzle pieces fit, it’s a recipe for success, but when they don’t, it’s much harder to achieve your goals (and even enjoy what you do).
Talking about this with your employer shows a high degree of sophistication and understanding of leadership. Bonus: you also, again, show interest in the role of your interviewer.
5. What’s your vision for the company in five years?
Don’t forget to ask the big question: “What do you hope the company will accomplish long-term?” Employers like to see potential employees thinking about the future, and not just about taking the job and then seeing what else happens. Show that if hired, you’ll be invested in the company’s overall success.
6. What haven’t I told you yet that would make hiring me an easier decision?
You talk about a lot of things during an interview.
From your entire work history to your strengths and weaknesses, you cover a lot of ground in the discussion.
Give your interviewer an opportunity to hear something from you that he or she hoped to get out of the conversation. It allows you to tie up those loose ends you otherwise wouldn’t realize you had until you walked out of the interview and said, “S***! I forgot to tell them about X.” Make sure you leave the room having said everything you wanted to.