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Interview Question Database

At the Interview

Questions to Ask at an Interview

It is inevitable.  At the end of the interview an employer will likely ask "do you have any questions?"  What many candidates don't realize is that this is a strategic part of the interview which helps to differentiate candidates. 

Do you have any questions?

This question, while often asked at the end of an interview, also reflects your preparation. You want to be able to show the employer that you have done some pre-thinking about the job and your interest in it. You may want to bring in a notepad with some questions you had thought of prior to the interview. You can refer to those questions (some may have been answered already) or ask others that have arisen as a result of the interview itself. Often if you have no questions, interviewers interpret that as either a lack of preparation, interest, or both.

Often times this last question is the biggest stumper of all. Questions? Me? Yikes. But don't hit mute and make for the door just yet. Always come armed with a few more questions, whether they're about the business itself or about your specific role within it. Doing your homework on the company will make a big difference, says Ken Ramberg, co-founder of Jobtrak.com. Perhaps a new competitor has recently burst on the scene. Inquire about the company's plans to go head-to-head. Or, says Stybel, ask about how the company is meeting technological challenges or expanding. Just don't fall silent at this moment. "The questions you ask are just as important as the ones they ask you,'' and they demonstrate your level of sophistication, Stybel said. Ask the interviewer why she works there or to describe a recent good hire. You can also highlight any qualifications that haven't been discussed yet and your enthusiasm. Use your voice and make yourself memorable.

Given that this is a contract/short-term/Co-op placement, what are the deliverables that you expect for the position?

This is an excellent question to ask at the end of an interview as it indicates that you realize the challenges of making an impact in a relatively short period of time and that you are interested in defining and meeting expectations.

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Upon reviewing the job description, I noticed that...could you please clarify?


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As my direct supervisor in this position, what are the three top priorities you would first like to see accomplished?


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Could you describe a typical day in this position?

This question tells you more about the position, the day-to-day responsibilities and expectations. This is an excellent question to ask if you are being interviewed by the person currently in the position.

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How does an employee succeed on your team?

It is important to understand how the company measures success to optimally succeed. This questions also demonstrates your strive to be successful in the position.

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What is your vision for this project or position in the next five years?

By asking this question, you will gain a greater perspective of the long term goals of the organization and the potential future opportunities. In addition, it demonstrates to the interviewer that you consider the "big picture".

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Why is this position open? Or, why was this position created?

By asking this question, you may get insight on the company culture or a gauge on how much the company values professional development.

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How do you measure an employee's performance?


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What training, tools and resources do you provide, to ensure the success of a new employee?

It is valuable to know how an employer will contribute to your success at their organization and to contribute to your ongoing professional development. Employers invest in employees in different ways ranging from:

. Initial training and orientation
. Courses or ongoing access/memberships to training tools
. Internal professional development activities or events
. Encouragement of attendance and registration to workshops and conferences
. Mentorship with senior staff
. Memberships to professional organizations
. Clearly defined performance indicators, professional development plans, feedback opportunities, or performance reviews

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How and when do you provide employees with feedback?

It is important to understand how the company measures success to optimally succeed. This questions also demonstrates your strive to be successful in the position.

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How would you describe the work environment?


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How would you describe your organization's culture?

By asking about the company's culture, you’ll get insight into what is most important for the company as a whole, and what it values in the individuals who work there.

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What type of training and mentorship do you provide to employees?

By asking this question, you can get a gauge how many the company values professional and personal development.

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Work Fit

QUESTION INTENT

It is your turn to see if your work style, personality, and values will align with the company's way of working. A good fit with the company culture will add value and meaning to the work you do.

Do you have any questions or concerns about my ability to perform this position?

This question displays that you’re highly invested in the job and committed to understanding your prospects as a candidate. Plus, it will also allow you an opportunity to respond to any potential concerns.

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What does success look like in this position? How do you measure it?

It is important to understand how the company measures success to optimally succeed. This questions also demonstrates your strive to be successful in the position.

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Company Culture

QUESTION INTENT

It's important to figure out from the interview if you will likely be a good match for the company and consequently happier and successful. The following questions are intended to uncover information about the work culture which includes dress code, reward structures, and leadership accessibility.

How long have you worked with the company?

By asking this question, you can gauge if the company invests into career advancement opportunities for their employees or not. High turnover rates may be a red flag.

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What was the last big achievement that was celebrated?

With this question, you can decipher what the company values and if employee achievements are acknowledged and appreciated. The answer to this question clues into the atmosphere of the working environment.

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What was the greatest challenged the department faced and how did they deal with it?

By asking this question, you can get a clue on whether the company encourages continuous learning organization or if there is some blame culture in place. The answer this question may reveal hints to the degree of politics within the working environment.

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What do my potential team members do on their lunch break?

With this question, you reveal information about the personalities of your fellow team members and the possible dynamic between members. Depending on your preference, you may want to work on a team that is more extroverted and social.

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How does this company give back to the community?

If from your research of the organization does not touch upon this point, it is a good question to ask. By asking this question, you show that you have researched the company and are interested in similar initiatives that company has invested in. It is a red flag if your goals don't align with their initiatives.

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