7 Important Questions Most Candidates Don’t Ask

Header Image of candidate at interview

Asking questions during a job interview is one of the most crucial aspects that many job seekers overlook.  Having a few questions prepared is essential when going into any job interview. However, it is not as simple as throwing out some random queries that you made up while eating your breakfast on the way.

The interview is your opportunity to show that you’ve done your homework and to prove that you are a good fit for the position. On the other hand, asking the wrong questions can make you look unprepared, ignorant or even just foolish.

The questions you ask should be thoughtful, intelligent and demonstrate that you are dedicated to the role and the company.

Here are 7 questions that are always smart to ask during an interview.

1. What is the greatest skill required in this position?”

This is a question that may be good to ask before you describe your experience. Knowing what the hiring manager believes is the most important skill that would be required for the position can allow you to focus more on that specific skillset.

2. "If hired, what are the three most important challenges you’d like me to solve in the first six to 12 months here?”

Every open position is a challenge or problem that the company is trying to solve by hiring the right fit. The more you know about the challenges facing the position you are applying for, and the expectations for your potential role, the easier it will be for you to sell yourself as the answer to those issues.

3. “Beyond the hard skills required, what soft skills would be important in this position?”

Knowing what soft skills that a company thinks are important can help you understand the company’s culture and values. This can allow you to evaluate how you may fit in to that workplace.

4. “Will there be training involved in this position. How do you help your team grow professionally?”

This question can show that you are willing to grow into your role in the company and work hard to do so.

This kind of question can be particularly important for hourly workers. Usually, these kinds of positions have higher turnover and the company may be looking for someone who is thinking about staying at the position long-term.

5. “Why is his position available?”

It is important to remember that a job interview is not a one-way street. Of course, you want to take the opportunity to impress the hiring manager and come across as both intelligent and excited. But you also should take the opportunity to gauge how you will fit in with the organization. This question can give you more information about the direction of the company and figure out how things may be going there.

6. “Is there anything from our discussion that I could elaborate on to make your decision easier?”

Sometimes the most helpful thing you can do during the interview is to put the interviewer on the spot. If you can work up the courage to ask this question, it could give you a quick read on the situation. While at the same time giving valuable feedback and allowing you to answer any lingering questions that the hiring manager may have while you still have their full attention.  

7. “What is your timeline for making a decision. May I contact you to follow up on my candidacy?”

This question may very well be the most important one that almost every potential candidate forgets to ask. You should never leave an interview without understanding the time frame that the company is working with for deciding on the position.

It is also extremely important to find out how and when you should follow up about your candidacy. This shows your interest and enthusiasm for the position.


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