Job interviews can be the most confusing part of a person’s professional life. There is so much ambiguity going in and so many questions one has – what do you wear, what questions will they ask you, are any of those going to be trick questions, etc. Of course, the more you prepare and research beforehand the more of that ambiguity you’re likely to alleviate. One of the most vital and misunderstood portions of the interview comes at the end when the interviewer asks if you, the interviewee, have any questions.
This may seem like a trivial part of the interview, which can be breezed past, with the more important portion being how you answer the questions asked of you. However, you shouldn’t underestimate the opportunity you’re given when you get to ask questions of your own. You can showcase your skills as a critical thinker or you can slip up and reveal how truly underqualified you are. In an ideal situation, this is where you really show off your deep knowledge of the organization, your ability to be a team player, and your potential to excel in the role in question.
Of course, your questions should reflect the research you’ve done on the organization and the role you’re applying for, but there are also general questions you can ask that will reflect well on you as a candidate.
Here are a few of the top job interview questions you could ask your potential employer:
1. What are the most important things to accomplish in the first 30 days? What about in the first 90?
This question gets you having the sort of brass tacks discussion about goals and KPIs that you’ll hopefully be having regularly as an employee. It gives the interviewer insight into your ability to think critically and strategically, as well as be flexible.
2. What challenges within the organization will this role help to address, and where are the most important places for me to add value?
This shows that you are primarily concerned with how you’ll add to the company – always a positive. It also has the potential to lead to an interesting discussion about where you’ve added value in the past, which is something you absolutely should showcase in an interview if you haven’t already.
3. What are the biggest challenges you expect me to face in this role?
Any job comes with its challenges that must be overcome in order to perform optimally. By asking this question, you’re letting the interviewer know that you’re not afraid of the tough parts of the job and are ready to face them head on.
4. What can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with?
To be fair, this is a little lighter than the other questions, but don’t underestimate the importance of getting along with your team. Guaranteed the interviewer is assessing you on a social level to ensure everyone will work well together, and this helps build their confidence.
5. What are the next steps?
You want to be on the same page as your interviewer as much as possible. Of course, you’ll keep in touch afterward and send a thank you note, but this is the time to understand their plan for what happens next in the process.