Five questions you must ask in a job interview

The job interview is a two-way street, not a one-lane highway. A tango, not a dance solo. In addition to answering the myriad of questions that will be posed to you in the interview, you should be prepared to ask some key questions that will allow you to further evaluate the opportunity.

Why is this position open?

Why does this matter? Maybe the previous person resigned, was laid off, or was even promoted. Maybe this is a newly created position, in which case there may be some flexibility in shaping the position.

How does this role fit into the whole picture?

Does this role have a lot of influence? Will you be an individual contributor, team member, or manager? What other departments will you be interacting with. Does this role have local, regional, national, or global significance in the corporation?

What does the successful candidate look like in this position?

Alignment here is important. You want to make sure that the hiring manager’s perception of success aligns with what you are capable of delivering. Knowing this information upfront can help you make an informed decision as to whether or not to continue on in the hiring process.

What concerns do you have about my background or experience as it relates to this position?

Don’t walk away from the interview without asking this question. There is no better time to address any concerns than while you are still in the interview. The answers you provide here could tip the scales back in your favor.

How soon will you be making a hiring decision for this position?

Typically, hiring decisions are made within a few weeks, depending on the number of candidates being interviewed and how critical the position is to the current business. The answer to this question will also tell you how motivated the company is to filling the position.

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