The fact that you need to ask questions at the end of an interview is something that most candidates know. However, often it is less well-known what kind of questions you can ask to truly stand out from other candidates. Many candidates don´t spend too much time in their preparation process on the final part of the interview. In fact, most candidates just jot down a few simple questions to make sure they can check this off their list but don´t think through what questions they should ask to make a good impression.
And actually, you should think about these questions as a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you can get more valuable information about the company and the position by asking the right questions, but on the other hand, it is an opportunity to sell yourself even more. Asking the right questions can show that you have taken your preparation seriously and really want the job but also is an opportunity to re-emphasize why you could be a good fit or add value to the company.
Here are 4 questions that will make you stand out in an interview:
What are the most important qualities for someone to excel in this job?
By asking this question, you can show that you are genuinely interested in getting to know how you can do a great job if they decide to hire you. In addition, you will get valuable information by asking this question that is often not in the job description. By learning about the expectations for the person they are looking to hire and about the working culture, you also have an extra opportunity to explain why you are a good fit for the role.
What do you like best about working for this company?
Asking for personal experience will not only give you additional information about what it is like to work for the company, information that is usually not on the company website, but it is also an opportunity to get a more personal conversation. Most people like to talk about themselves and by proactively asking them to do so, you can connect on a more personal level and loosen up the conversation a bit by taking the interviewer out of the formal interviewer role.
What are the biggest opportunities and biggest challenges for the department right now?
This question shows that you are truly interested in the well-being of the company and what the short and medium-term will look like. It can help you learn more about where the company and department are headed and can show that you are eager to take on opportunities and contribute to the department´s success. On the other hand, by asking for the challenges, you can not only get a more realistic view of what it will be like to work there but also by talking about issues you can emphasize your skills that could help solve some of these issues.
How would you describe the working culture here?
Make sure to talk about the working culture as well. On the one hand, you want to know if you are a good fit for this company, the team dynamics and their way of working. On the other hand, it also shows the interviewer that you are not only concerned about getting the job but also about making sure that you would be able to fit in.
Again, just asking some questions at the end of your interview to thick off some obligation is not going to cut it. You need to ask the right questions and make sure that you stand out.
What other questions do you think can help you stand out in an interview? We would love to read about it in the comments section.