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5 Questions I Wish job seekers Had The GUTS To Ask During their Interviews!

May 4, 2021
Interview Series

Do you have any questions?” is one of the top interview questions employers ask. The most common answer to this interview question is NO. Not only does this answer miss an opportunity for you to find out information about the company, it's also a missed opportunity for you to prove your interest and knowledge, as well as demonstrate your communication skills and be considered a strong candidate.

A job interview is like dating...It's meant to be a two-way conversation. You wouldn't have a date with someone who just asks you questions and you don't say anything! So to help you, here are 5 questions I wish job seekers had the guts to ask in their next interview!

Question #1: What are the biggest challenges I would face in the first 90 days and how will success be measured?

What are the biggest challenges I will face in my first 90 days on the job? This is a question that you might get asked in an interview, but it’s never a bad idea to ask it yourself.

I always find it useful to get the hiring manager’s point of view on what they need and expect from you in the first 90 days. It helps keep you on track in the right direction and understand how you are being evaluated. You might feel like you already know what your responsibilities will be, but be sure to confirm your expectations.

Asking this question also gives you an opportunity to identify what needs to be done in the role or company that has yet to be addressed. You can then plan ahead for these challenges, which helps you be successful from the very beginning.

Question #2: Is there anything about my background that makes you hesitant to move me forward in the interview process?

As a former recruiter, I loved it when candidates ask, "Is there anything about my background that makes you hesitant to move me forward in the interview process" because it shows a high level of trust, transparency and drive, not to mention the ability to change the narrative if the recruiter has any concerns.

It is important for job seekers to have an open dialogue before they devote their time and energy to an interview (maybe multiple interviews). Your goal in this question is to learn more about the company and the position (or department) so that you know what you're getting yourself into and if it’s a good fit.

It also eliminates any anxiety for the hiring team and demonstrates a level of transparency on your part that will make you feel more comfortable during and after the interview if you have any further questions.

Question #3: What has the company done to help you further your own professional development?

There is no doubt that staying relevant in your field throughout your career is a must. That requirement makes continuing to gain relevant skills throughout your life a must, too. These aren’t necessarily just skills that will advance you within the company, but actually skills that will make you better at whatever it is you do within the company. Skills that will help you do your job better and will help you make a bigger difference to the company. There is nothing more satisfying than doing what you love for a living and ending every day knowing that you have made an impact.

 It's never too early or too late to get involved in your own professional development. Whether you've just graduated from school or have been working in an area for years, it's important to keep learning.

One of the best ways to do this is through professional development training your potential employers runs — maybe one of those cool new social marketing courses that they've just introduced. Asking what opportunities there are to promote your professional development is one way to see how invested the company is in its employees.

Question #4: Where do you think the company needs to improve the most?

One important part of interviewing is finding out what needs to change at a particular company. If you don't ask, they won't be inclined to tell you, so find out by asking the hiring manager where he/she thinks the company needs to improve the most.

Don't think that you’ll appear unreasonable by asking this question. Hearing the interviewer talk about what his or her company still needs to improve on will give you insight on what to expect at the job should you land it.

It’s a question that is almost guaranteed to get you an answer. In fact, I don’t know of any question where you can be more sure that there’s a high probability of the person answering gives you insight into the company.

When asking the interviewer this question, try to think about what you can bring to the company. There is no formula or way that you should answer this question. You want to be honest and share with them what you see in the company that they could improve upon. You also want to show them your problem solving skills and why you would be a great fit for their business.

Question #5: I’m sure you have some thoughts on how the company has developed in terms of diversity, inclusiveness and equity issues. I would love to hear about them.

I personally would ask the interviewer how the company plans to support and improve diversity given that they’re an HR leader.

Asking an interviewer about diversity is tricky. The chances are fair that this isn’t the first time they’ve been asked this question, and they might be pretty burnt out on talking about it.   However, if you present it in a way that highlights your interest in helping the company succeed and solve their diversity issues (rather than just wanting the job for selfish reasons), it could be a really great way to find out more about the organization.

A big part of being a good fit is making sure the company is a good fit for you. This means whatever your role will be, it’s going to provide you with opportunities for professional development, career growth, and creative freedom.

Moreover, you will learn more about the challenges faced by your peers in management roles and gain an idea of what kind of solutions they are seeking to address these conflicts.

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Take away: Takeaway: Have a conversation.

Use these 5 questions in your next interview and have a conversation, not an interrogation!

Remember - interviews are a two-way streak!

These types of questions are great for getting a better sense of how you could fit into the role and what you can do to help the company achieve its goals.

Remember, this is your chance to show off your communication skills and thought process, so take advantage!

Keep the questions above in your back pocket and use them in your next interview. Work hard to truly understand what type of employee they want so you can decide if you are truly a good fit for the position!

If you're looking for more interview tips, make sure to grab a free copy of our "Turn Job Interviews into Job Offers" eBook.

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