4 Questions to Ask in an Interview You Might Not Have Thought Of
Why Good Questions Matter
A good employee-employer relationship should be like any other types of successful relationships; mutually supportive, rooted in trust, creating an opportunity for growth and one that is hopefully long term. Well-crafted questions that dig a bit more into the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ of the role go a long way to both show your future employer that you have thought seriously about your potential fit within the organization and also, as importantly, may provide you with important insight on what makes the organization tick.
Question 1: What Does Success Look Like in This Role?
This question achieves two things; it shows the prospective employer that you are goal-oriented and coming into the role to succeed from day 1. It also provides you with some insight on whether or not the interviewer is able to define what success is – even in general terms. You will get an idea of the corporate culture and how expectations are set. And it will be interesting asking this of different interviewers holding different roles. Do their responses differ? Do you come away with a clear idea of what success looks like? If not, it gives you an opportunity to ask additional questions or you may determine that this organization is not the right fit.
Question 2: What Would You Say Is the Greatest Challenge of this Role?
This question shows that you are ready to deal with any obstacles by understanding them and dealing with them head on; that you are a problem-solver and that you won’t shy away from potential difficulties. The question also benefits you by conveying that you expect all interesting roles to have some challenges. It is also good to try to understand if it seems that the ‘challenges’ are a possible by-product of something more difficult to change, like a result of poor company culture, or something you are more likely to be able to control.
Question 3: What Do You Like Most About Working Here?
This question is rooted in positivity; it portrays an optimism you may already have for the role and gives the interviewer an opportunity to ‘sell’ you not just on the company, but how they see their own place in the company ecosystem. What is the company like from their perspective? Can they answer the question easily? How do the answers between different interviewers differ? It may also reveal challenges in the company that might be good for you to know.
Question 4: How Does This Role Contribute to the Goals of the Organization?
This question not only reveals that you are a team player but it also shows that you think of the bigger picture; that you see that your goals and the company’s goals are aligned. This is an important competency that employers look for. While good employers should be contributing to the individual growth and development goals of the employee, the employee should be working not only with their own goals in mind but also the organization’s.
Remember it’s always a good idea to ask the interviewer where they are in the recruitment process and when you should expect to hear back from them. Be proactive! Asking this question enables you to justifiably reach out to the interviewer if you haven’t heard back within the timeline provided. And, always immediately follow up with them by email or text (if you’ve been communicating by this method) to thank them for the interview and to convey your continued interest in the role.
Gillian Gonzalez-Risso, CPHR is the founder of Feast Culinary Consulting. Gillian helps owners build and manage high-performance teams guided by a culture of mutual respect and mentorship. Gillian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.