By Jim Wong, CPA | April 5, 2017

How prepared are you for your next interview?

Most job seekers know that there are many factors that go into a successful job interview and proper preparation is key. In addition to crafting an eye-catching resume, selecting business professional attire and preparing appropriate responses to compensation questions, there is a slew of steps a professional has to perfect before walking into a meeting with a potential new employer.

One area that might not get the attention it deserves is how to prepare a list of questions to ask the interviewer once they turn the table on you. Nothing comes off more unprepared than when you say you don’t have any questions—or even worse—when you say they’ve already answered them.

It’s important to have at least five questions ready to ask the hiring manager or recruiter during your interview. During the interview, it’s possible that all your questions get answered early on. So, it’s important to plan questions that are well-thought out and carefully listen to the answers the interviewer provides so you can have follow-up questions. Asking thoughtful questions can help demonstrate a high level of interest about the role and organization. Furthermore, asking insightful questions can illustrate your knowledge in various subject matters. In summary, asking good questions can provide you a competitive advantage over other candidates.

I came across a Forbes article that highlights some of the most important questions a prospective employee should prepare before walking into an interview. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list and are only a few of our recommended questions.

Learn 7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview below.

1. What skills make an ideal candidate for this role? 
This question is important because it lays out exactly what will make you successful in the role. It’s also a great open-ended question that will spark additional questions. If the hiring manager brings up a specific experience that you have, it’s a great start to further conversation.

2. What’s the most important project to achieve in the next 60 days? 
This question is important to ask in an interview in order to get a grasp on what projects are top of mind for hiring managers. Knowing that you are walking into a role that has immediate projects and tasks to be taken care of shows that you will waste no time diving into the role.

3. What is the largest problem facing the team today and how can I help solve it?
This bold question allows you to put yourself in the position and envision how you could help the team. Hiring managers will have the opportunity to explain how you will have a concrete impact on their team. This question shows interest in a role which is important.

4. Can you tell me about the team and the company culture? 
Culture is certainly a buzzword when it comes to the workplace but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an important question. You will need to know the team structure and culture that you are walking into. Is the team collaborative? Do team members work remotely or do they come into the office every day? Is philanthropy important to the organization? These are all good things that you should ask before joining an organization.

5. Are there opportunities for continuing education and learning and development? 
This question shows your interest in learning and growing within the organization. It’s beneficial to hiring managers because it shows that you want to develop your skills, learn new skills and expand on those skills.

6. What do you enjoy most about working for the organization?
When you ask this question to the interviewer you are engaging them in a more personal way. You’re asking them to provide feedback from their own individual perspective. This will show that you want to be able to picture yourself in the role and that you are genuinely interested.

7. What are the next steps in the interview process? 
This essential last question reiterates your interest in the position. Be sure to ask this question at the end of the interview in order to leave a lasting impression on the hiring manager and that there’s no doubt you are interested in the role. It also gives you clarity on what to expect over the course of the interview and the days following.

These are only a few of the important questions to ask in a job interview. Do you have other suggestions? Comment below and let us know.

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