5 questions to ask in a job interview

5 questions to ask in a job interview

So, you’ve landed an interview for your dream role, at a company you’d love to work for. Now all you need to do is convince your interviewer that you’re the perfect fit for the position.

When preparing for a promising interview, you're likely to anticipate what questions you'll be asked by your interviewer, crafting thoughtful responses to give when prompted. But many job seekers tend to overlook an important element of the interview that might not seem like a big deal, but could actually make or break you.

I'm talking about the dreaded, "Do you have any questions?" part of the interview. It's a question that gets asked just as you're about to wrap things up -- when you just want the interview to be over already. Most job seekers are already aware that it's inappropriate to bring up the salary, benefits, or vacation days at this time (and if you didn’t, now you do). But what many applicants overlook is the fact that not asking any questions makes you look just as bad.

When an interviewee doesn’t ask any questions, it can lead the hiring manager to think that the applicant is not particularly interested in the company -- that he or she doesn’t know enough about the position or business to ask intelligent questions -- or simply doesn’t care enough to learn more. This is not the impression you want to give, especially for a position that you're really interested in!

Interviewers want to learn three things during an interview: If you can do the job you're interviewing for, if you're a good fit for the company and if you'll accept the job, if offered to you. The questions you're asked during the interview will likely cover numbers one and two. The questions asked by the applicant are where the interviewer is most likely to find the answer to number three. It's an opportunity to show your enthusiasm for the company and the position.

So, what should you ask your interviewer? Here are five must-ask questions.

What are three specific goals that you would set for my first three months on the job?

Hiring managers love this question because it shows that you are enthusiastic and will hit the ground running if hired.

What would you like to be able to say about your new hire a year from now?

This question will make an applicant stand out because it shows a vision for your future with the company beyond just getting the job.

What is your history with the company? What's keeping you here now?

This is a more creative way to ask the person's favorite part of working for the company. It will give you an opportunity to express genuine curiosity about someone you may be working for, as well as create a personal connection, which will make you more memorable to the interviewer.

Can you tell me more about what I would be doing on a daily basis? Are there other things that you would like the person in this role to do that are not considered formal parts of the job?

This question is good for both you and the employer, as it can give you a fuller picture of what is expected of you, and help you determine whether you would actually want to work for the company.

Do you have any reservations about my ability to do this job? Are there any specific areas in which you believe my qualifications are lacking?

All of these questions put you in a position to address any concerns while you’re still there. If the interviewer is left to address your weaknesses on his or her own, you have no opportunity to respond and explain why, despite any perceived shortcomings, you’re still the best fit.

Remember: Not only are the questions you ask an opportunity for the employer to learn more about you, but they also help you determine whether the company and position is actually the right fit for you.

It doesn't benefit you to have the interviewer think you're a perfect candidate, while you're unsure whether or not you will enjoy the work you're expected to do.

A super short interview is rarely a good sign, so if rapport with your interviewer was lacking during the bulk of the interview, you may be able to turn that around by asking thoughtful questions! Be prepared with these five questions and plan on asking around three, depending on the length of the interview and how much time is filled before you reach this part. Doing so will make you stand out among the rest of the candidates, and increase your chances of landing the role.