Asking questions during the interview sets you apart from other candidates, and displays your interest in the available position.
However, there are some questions that should be kept to yourself, including some of the textbook questions you may have at the ready. Asking the right questions can help you get more elaborate answers, rather than generic ones.
Whenever possible, ask questions that will help prompt the interviewer to tell a story. Your goal is to make the interviewer share more in-depth info and concrete examples.
But a careful balance is required. Avoid asking questions that will only benefit you. If your questions are one-sided, it can give the employer an impression that you’re only after a paycheck and perks.
An interview is meant to be a conversation, not an interrogation. If you want to get the best answers, be sure to come up with the right questions.
Here are some questions you may be considering (but need to rethink before the interview):
How would you describe the company culture?
If you want to know something about the company, it’s better to ask direct, specific questions to avoid getting vague answers. What do you most want to know about the culture? Identify what aspects of the culture seem most relevant to you.
What professional development opportunities exist?
This question can be tricky since it could send the wrong message. If you don’t ask the question with the right tone at the right time, you may sound like you are just taking the job because of the promotional opportunities.
If you really need to ask this question, you can re-word it into something like this: “What types of professional development do you offer? How have they helped other employees?
What’s the career path for this position?
It is important to assess your skills and background before asking this question. Do you have the right qualifications based on the job posting? Evaluate what the company needs and weigh whether you’re the perfect fit for the job. If you are, you can possibly ask the interviewer subtly about how successful people typically move within the company.
Tell me about your on boarding process.
Always use words that show your interest in the company. If you don’t choose your words carefully, there is a great chance that your image will be viewed in a way that you don’t prefer. Aim to ask specific questions that will help you find out if the hiring manager supports his or her team.
Once you’ve reworded your questions, work them in during the interview. (Depending on the interviewer, it may not be wise to wait until the end of the conversation to start your list of questions.)
Asking specific, well thought out questions will help build rapport and keep the conversation flowing smoothly.