question marks

What questions do you typically ask during a job interview? What’s the culture like? What does a typical day look like in this job position?  These are fine questions to ask your job interviewer, but they aren’t particularly spectacular. You don’t know how many other people your interviewer has spoken with for this position and it takes more than the typical interview questions to stand out. Preparing for your upcoming job interview will put you on right track for success but asking thoughtful job interview questions will really differentiate you from the competition.

I went around our office and asked my fellow recruiters what questions they suggest their candidates ask during their interviews. Here are some of the best interview questions to ask and why you should be asking them during a job interview.

“Can you offer specific details about the position’s day-to-day responsibilities?”

Even though the job title may be the same, the job expectations may differ from company to company so it’s important that you ask for a description of the tasks you’ll be performing both daily and weekly. Being aware of what you will be expected to do allows you to judge if you will be satisfied with the amount of programming, electrical design, traveling, or other tasks the position requires. It will also give you a feel for the day-to-day workings of the company and offer you a chance to visualize what it would be like to be an employee there.

Which part of the position has the steepest learning curve? What can I do to get up to speed quickly?”

You will receive a straightforward answer as to what challenges you can expect if you ask this question. You can take action to better prepare yourself for the position or – at the very least – be ready for any obstacles you may face.

What are some qualities held by the most successful people in the company/this role?”

You can self-evaluate your own characteristics and see if they match up in likeness to successful members of the company. You don’t always need to have the same qualities as everyone else, but it is helpful to know how you could adapt to better fit the role. This question also helps you determine if this job might not be right for you.

“What are you hoping for your new hire to accomplish in the first 3-6 months on the job?”

This is another example of a good question to ask to set yourself up for success. Knowing what will be expected of you allows you to set a goal and know what to work towards.

“What are the biggest challenges facing your company right now?”

Questioning the company’s challenges allows you to get an idea of any issues you might hear about or be affected by. It also gives you the opportunity to showcase how your skills and experience could help “save the day” or alleviate the pain points your interviewer mentions.

“What is the company’s reward/recognition system?”

Asking this shows that you are interested in working towards rewards and gives you an idea of what you can expect for recognition. You will be better prepared for the role if you know your objectives and how you will be treated if you go above and beyond the typical company expectations.

“Can you think of any reason why I could not be a fit for this position?” or if you’re concerned about being too direct “Before I leave, are there any more questions about my background or qualifications that I can answer or clarify for you to better assess my fit within your team/company?”

By asking this, you can address any potential concerns or reservations that came from your interview or your resume. You also build trust when you are transparent about your skills and experience.

Using nontraditional job interview questions will help accomplish your goal of standing out and being memorable to your interviewer. They are great questions to show the interviewer that you care about other aspects of your next career choice other than the just salary. Also, the answers you receive should help you to determine if this job and company will be a good fit for you.

I hope you will put these interview questions to good use at your next job interview!

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Megan Carty - RecruiterAbout the Author:

This article is written by Megan Carty, Recruiter at Automationtechies.

Catch her on LinkedIn or by email.