We've got a great guest post for you guys hot off the press on the 5 most critical questions to ask during an interview. Check it out and let us know what you think!
Interviews are stressful. No matter how great your application, your credentials, or your haircut, so much of landing that job seems to come down to how well you perform in that treacherous, 30 minute standoff called your interview—or at least, that’s how it feels.
Sometimes we’re our own worst enemies. We put so much pressure on ourselves to have a perfect interview that we end up coming off unnatural, and not casting an image of our truly best selves. The truth is, interviews aren’t as scary as we make them out to be.
Easier said than done though, right? No matter how well we prepare for an interview, there are always those left-field questions that can leave us scratching our heads for weeks. Looking at some of last year’s weirdest interview question, Apple asked: “If you were a pizza delivery man, how would you benefit from scissors?”
While that answer may be obvious to some (cut the pizza boxes to make ninja stars, ergo defending yourself from pizza thieves), you may want to throw up your hands and quit preparing for interviews altogether. But I have another suggestion:
While you can’t always know what you’re going to be asked, you can always have an arsenal of questions for you to be asking your interviewer. Here are my 5 go-to questions to ask in any interview. Play them right, and you’ll be looking better than Ron Burgundy at the top of the news hour.
What Kind of Culture Have You Tried to Cultivate Here?
Asking about company culture gives you an immediate glimpse into a company’s values, and how they project your position. It can help you to steer the rest of the conversation around those values, and give you insight into the kind of work environment you’ll be a part of.
And not only does it give you great information, but it shows the interviewer that you care about the development of the whole office, and want to be a contributor.
How Has My Position Evolved Since Its Creation?
This question shows that you understand the depth in a job description; it’s not just about meeting responsibilities. Any employer wants to see both a hunger to learn, and ability to grow and stay relevant. This question will help communicate a desire for both, while giving you insight into future roles and challenges.
What Were the Biggest Challenges For Others Who’ve Held This Position?
Asking about past challenges can help you to create goals for yourself early on. It also gives you a glimpse into management style. If there’s a root problem in the manager-employee relationships, this gives you a chance to sniff it out.
You also get an upper hand, as it helps you to be aware of your own weaknesses—and quell an interviewer’s fears about some of your own weak spots.
Are There Any Hesitations About My Experience That You’d Like to Discuss?
Show that you’re both secure enough and self-aware enough to know you don’t have all the answers. This question proves both humility and confidence, understanding that you’re qualified, but there’s always room for improvement.
By giving room for open and honest discussion about your weaknesses, you’ll help the interviewer to feel comfortable with you, which will show them that you work well on a team.
What Would A Successful First Day Look Like To You?
Finally, you want to end on a high note. This one helps to land the conversation on the interviewer actually picturing you in the role. It’s a simple way to communicate confidence, drive, and a readiness to get going immediately.
Bottom line: you can never fully prepare for an interview, but that doesn’t mean you can’t kick ass. Come with a few great questions at the ready, and you’ll be sure to steer even the toughest interview to a great place.