Keep in mind that just because you are encouraged to ask questions doesn’t necessarily mean you should ask a thousand of them.
“Your job is not to ask questions or to interview the interviewers, so I wouldn’t ask too many questions,” said John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an outplacement consulting firm.
We’ve rounded up the six best questions to ask in your next job interview, as suggested by our panel of experts, which can help you get a better idea of whether the position is right for you and perhaps even impress the interviewer in the process.
What do you really enjoy about working here?
When you step into an interview, it’s important to remember that the person conducting the interview isn’t just there to intimidate you; he or she is also your window into the company. And with this question, you can tactfully get a better sense of how the interviewer – and perhaps employees in general – feel about the company you may one day call home.
“The answer to this question as well as the tone of the answer will provide critical insights as to how happy and supported employees feel at the organization,” Levit said.
If you want to take this question one step further, Tory Johnson, founder of WomenForHire.com, suggests rewording it to ask what one thing the interviewer would change about the company if he or she could. “This is a way of asking, ‘What’s wrong with this place?’ without being so direct,” she said.
What are your goals for the company in the next year?
Much of the interview itself will likely be devoted to the specifics of your position and your qualifications for it, so it’s a good idea to break out of that pattern when possible to get a sense of the big picture.
According to Levit, this particular question can give you a better sense of “how your position fits into the company as a whole, and more broadly, about whether the company is a good place to work.”
What skills do I need to have most to help the team?
Trunk emphasizes that the best questions one can ask are the ones that show you care about teamwork, bottom line results and know how to manage yourself in a group. With this particular question, you accomplish all of those points and can get better a sense of what will be expected of you once you start working.
If I were hired, what would you like to see me achieve in my first three to six months on the job?
As with the previous question, this one will help you get a better sense of how you’ll be judged in your new career.
“It’s important to understand expectations from the get-go,” Levit said. “This is especially true if you are being hired for a management position.”