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Good Interview Questions to Ask

by Rick Suttle, studioD

Employers often judge job candidates by the questions they ask during interviews. That's why it's crucial to plan your questions carefully and avoid asking ones you could have answered through your own research. Ask questions in a logical sequence rather than skipping around, as this better demonstrates your organizational and cognitive skills. Interviewers should ask questions that help them better evaluate candidates and determine who's best suited for jobs.

What Is the Ideal Job Candidate?

An appropriate lead question is asking what the employer believes is the ideal job candidate. The interviewer may tell you he's looking for someone with five years marketing experience and an MBA, with a heavy emphasis in new product introductions. This question serves as the perfect lead-in to selling your skills and experience. Once the interviewer lists key qualifications, provide examples of projects and accomplishments that best demonstrate these traits. (See reference 1)

What Growth Opportunities Are Available?

There are several ways to phrase the "growth opportunity" question. One is to say, "What are the opportunities for advancement?" This question demonstrates your desire for future promotions, indicating you're interested in a long career with the company. Employers appreciate committed employees because they make significant investments when hiring. The "growth opportunity" question also helps you determine whether the company is right for you. If you want promotions and the company rarely awards them, the job may not be the right match.

What Are the Daily Responsibilities?

Ask at least one question about daily responsibilities. This gives you an idea of the typical work day. Inquire about current projects such as what's involved, your responsibilities and with whom you would be working. A project may involve contacting suppliers, scheduling customer surveys, analyzing results and writing a report. Moreover, the hiring manager may be looking for someone who can better manage projects. The more details you know about their projects, the better you can demonstrate your ability to complete them and be a major contributor.

What Are the Next Steps?

Always ask about next steps before leaving an interview. If you have an all-day interview with multiple employees, the next step may be the offer. This question shows you're still interested in the position after learning all about it. Preface the question by saying, "I appreciate your time today and I'm very interested in the position. What are the next steps in the interviewing process?" Obtain time frames for any follow-up interviews or decisions. For instance, the interviewer may inform you about the hiring decision within two weeks.

What Attracted You to Your Present Job?

One analytical question for employers is asking candidates what attracted them to their present jobs. This question enables interviewers to identify certain motivational factors and match them to desired factors of the ideal candidate. For example, an applicant may have enjoyed managing people and working in a team environment. If these are important elements for the employer, it makes the job candidate more desirable. If these elements don't match the company's, the candidate may not be right for the position.

About the Author

Rick Suttle has been writing professionally since 2009, covering health and business for various online and print publications. He has worked in corporate marketing research and as a copywriter. Suttle holds a Bachelor of Science in marketing from Miami University and a Master of Business Administration from California Coast University. He is author of the novels "Hell Year" and "Suicide Peak."

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