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Part one to this blog post I shared my best practices for video calls and advice to help you dazzle like a star for your video interview. One of the points I shared was to keep the dialogue going by asking questions! Let’s continue our interview prep by discussing appropriate questions to ask that will make a positive impact for both you and the interviewer but first let me reiterate, congratulations for landing your interview! And if you are job searching bookmark this post for later.

This year, I know so many that have been affected by the pandemic— specifically loosing employment. Roughly half of Americans could be looking for a job right now amid the corona-virus pandemic. More than 57 million people filed for unemployment since the turn on the New Year. Numerous people I know and some I have met in passing are starting to interview for jobs again now that companies are regaining their footing after feeling the affects of the Pandemic.

Job interviews are stressful enough and given what we have all gone through since the beginning of the year. This year has not granted us any promises but I promise to you that if you interviewing it should be expected that the individual interviewing you will wrap the conversation with “Do you have any questions for me?”

In this moment you should be settled into the conversation and all of your nerves should have subsided. It is important to remember that every conversation, even an interview is a two-way street. You should be assessing the employer just as much as they’re assessing you, because you both need to walk away convinced that the each other is a great fit right?

So, carrying on the conversation after being asked by the interviewer “Do you have any questions for me” is important. Keeping the conversation goin not only sets you apart as a candidate as being fully engaged, but helps you determine if you’d be happy working for the company you are spending the morning or afternoon chatting with.

Don’t just ask a question just to go through the motions, be intentional! You want them to know you did your homework. My rule of thumb for questions is to ask 2 at the end of an interview. In my opinion if you don’t ask at least 2 questions you don’t seem interested. But come to your interview with 4 questions prepared. The reason I suggest 4 is just in case your original two are answered through the course of the interview you have 2 backups!

I have been in the coroporate arena for 10 years and have landed every job I have set my sights on. I am a firm believer that having great interview skills and preparation is a tenth of what aided in helping me land those jobs. I am handing over 21 questions I have personally used during an interview for you to choose from. These will help you get a better sense of the role, the culture, company and hopefully you leave the interview with a great and lasting impression on the interviewer!

1. Have I answered all your questions?

Yes, I have a few questions for you — but before I get into those, I am wondering if I’ve sufficiently answered all of your questions. Can I explain anything further or give any examples?

If they say, “No, you answered all of my questions ” then this is a great sign. Ask another follow up question!

2. Do you need me to clarify or elaborate on anything I said or that you read on my resume?

Depending on if I am speaking to an HR professional during a preliminary interview or the individual I will be working for directly I will ask this question because it is a more direct than the vague “Have I answered all your questions?”

3. What does the career path of those who have held this position look like?

This helps you decifer if this is a career path that you want to embark down. Is this job going to have you moving laterally or vertically?

4. What have past employees done to succeed in this position?

Why wouldn’t you want to know how the company measures success?

5. Who would the ideal candidate for this position be, and how do I compare?

One of my favorites. A sure fire way to decide if your skill sets align with what the company is currently looking for!

6. What do you like most about working for this company?

Gives you a big picture of what moral is like around the office in addition to an insider’s view of what they value about working for the company

7. Who do you consider to be your major competitors? How are you better?

Be careful asking this one, don’t get midway through the conversation and have a foot in mouth situation… You don’t want to “ask” your way out of a job. Do your homework on the company and their competitors so that you can bring up relevant information like articles you read, wins, mergers/acquisitions etc.

8. In addition to the skills outlined required to successfully perform this job, what other skills would serve the company and position best?

Learning from the C suite or HR what additional skills the company is very important. They are in those roles of importance, and it gives you more insight into what management value and you can evaluate if you would fit into the culture.

9. How would you describe the company’s culture?

My second favorite line of questioning! After asking this I like reading the body language of the interviewer— By asking this you will get a glimpse of their corporate philosophy and whether it prioritizes employee work life balance, happiness and the overall well being of those working for the company.

10. Do you have any hesitations about my qualifications?

Yes, I know this puts you in a vulnerable position however it shows you are strong and confident enough to openly discuss your areas of opportunity aka weakness. Confidence is such a great trait to have in the corporate realm. This question also gives you the chance to explain those weakenesses retort with your strengths.

11. Can you give me an example of how I would collaborate with my manager?

Knowing that your manager would lean on you as an asset and value your expertise is very key! This lets you know what type of boss they will be and how they will allow your strengths to shine!

12. Can you explain to me what steps need to be completed before your company can extend an offer?

Asking about an offer for the job you just interviewed for rather than
“what is your timeline to make a decision” should give you an idea what next steps will be, because decision is vague, while offer refers to the company determining you are the right candidate!

13. Is there anything else I can provide to help you make your decision?

This simple question is polite to ask, and it can give you peace of mind to know that you’ve covered all your bases, Hoover says — “it shows enthusiasm and eagerness but with polish.”

14. What are the challenges of this position?

If the interviewer says, “There aren’t any ” that is a red flag and indicator your personal growth and career potential may be stagnant in that position!

15. If you were to hire me, what might I expect in a typical day?

Show them you are enthusiastic about the role!

16. Where do you see yourself in five years?

As a candidate you should want to know where those who currently work for the company are headed! Helps you to also figure out your trajectory.

17. Is there anyone else I need to meet with?

Sometimes a company will have you do a job shadow, where you get to meet potential coworkers, and management. If you did not do a panel interview they may have you meet your prospective boss’s boss. This will also help you gain better insight as to where you stand in the hiring process.

18. How do you help your team grow professionally?

This helps you analyze if the company is invested in cultivating its talent through personal growth and career development such as offering volunteer days, paying for continuing education and bringing in specialist to teach you a skill set. Asking this question gives you insight into a few things— A company that will invest into its employees keeps them around and promotes from within– this lets you know they have lower attrition rates!

19. Where do you see the company in 10 years, and how would this role contribute to that vision?

Showing the interviewer that you are looking ahead and thinking long- term will set you apart and ahead of other candidates.

20. What’s one of the most interesting projects or opportunities that you’ve worked on?

This helps you to envision yourself working on those projects and how you may contribute in the future.

21. Is there anything we haven’t covered that you think is important to know about working here?

This is a classic question to help tie up loose ends and being the conversation to a close. This might be a good #3 to add instead of just asking two questions at the end of the interview.

Remember, your reply to their response is just as important as asking the question. Don’t respond with “mhmm” and “very nice” continue the conversation if their answer calls for it. Be sure to follow up with a thank you email to the interviewer for their time, reiterate your interest in the position, and let them know that you’re available should they need anything else from you.

Best of luck to you and your interview process. I hope these tips and questions help you land your dream career!

All my best ,

-Amanda M.

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