An interview is often the final hurdle that one has to clear to get their dream job. Those who have previously applied for a position understand how important the interview process is. Regardless of your qualification and prior experience, you are unlikely to get the position if you do not excel during your interview phase. Yes, it is as simple as that. And most job seekers understand this fact quite clearly. That is why you see a market for interview preparation manuals and courses claiming to help job seekers.
But while those courses and guides will probably help you in your preparation, there is one thing they always neglect. And those are the questions an applicant can ask their potential future employers.
Yes, you read that right. Unfortunately, it is quite common for interviewers to allow the applicant to ask them questions regarding the job during the interview process. And this is where many of the applicants stumble and ask generic questions that do not elicit an enthusiastic response from the interviewing panel.
Now we are not suggesting that you should not ask questions, no that is not the case. But as a job seeker, you should view this as an opportunity to impress the interviewing panel and stand apart from fellow applicants. So, take the bull by the horns and ask unique and creative questions that impress employers.
Smart Questions to Ask During An Interview
You might be wondering what creative and unique questions one can ask that will impress their employers. Well, you do not need to fret, as we have compiled a list of some unique questions to ask the employer during an interview. And these questions are compiled by a former recruiter, so give them a thorough read and use them as you see fit.
#1. What is that one Thing you hope that a New Person will Bring to the Role?
This is simply an outstanding question that you can ask your potential employers. It is an interesting and creative question that will subtly indicate to employers that you are an above-average applicant. There are a couple of things this question does. First, it clearly signals to the interviewing panel that you focused on the company and the role offered. And secondly, it allows you to express your enthusiasm about the job and your willingness to bring new ideas.
#2. What Does it Take to be a Successful Employee in Your Company?
This question clearly shows that you are focused on finding success in the role offered. It does not subtly indicate but hits your potential employers like a hammer that you are all about success. You are not just another applicant who is more concerned with cashing their paycheck. But someone who wants success in their working career.
This question solidifies in the minds of your interviewers that you are one if not the top applicant for the position on offer. So, naturally, this is a question that should be a part of your repertoire.
#3. What do the Most Successful Personnel do Differently here than Others?
This question is in line with the previous question in this list. It shows the interviewing panel that you are thoughtful and genuinely interested in the job. And while money is always a criterion and the reason anyone applies for a job, it is not the sole reason for your application. Further, it indicates to the panel that you are keenly focusing on getting the job and being successful at it. Now which company would not hire a professional who is not only good at the job but wants to succeed in the role as well?
#4. What Specific Part of my Resume Caught Your Attention?
Let’s make one thing clear; it is implausible that the interviewing manager or the panel has thoroughly studied your resume. In all likelihood, they have only glanced at it, especially if the role offered is a lower or middle position in the company. But you can easily change that. No one wants to be seen as the guy who does not know something. And that is especially true for the interviewers asking the questions. If you have customized your resume to highlight your key points and soft skills, you must ask this question. This way, you can divert the attention of the interviewing to your resume and, in a way, force them to do a thorough review of your profile. It will be a mark in favor of you, boosting your chances of selection.
#5. What are Some Top Skills and Traits You are Looking for?
This is another one of those creative and intelligent questions that employers do not hear much. And one can clearly see why as it is quite a bold question. It not only forces the panel to think about the question, but it also takes guts to ask such a question. In a way, it actually challenges the interview panel, which applicants do not like to do often. But this thoughtful question also forces the panel to take some time and think about the proper response. It would be something they would not have experienced interviewing other candidates. As an interviewing candidate, you would want to create a distinct impression that will be easy to remember. And this question does that splendidly.
#6. How Would You Measure Success Within the First 90 Days?
The answer to this question does not really matter; rather, it is the question that is a key for interviewers. Businesses are very keen and focused on success. And this question brings their focus on how they would define success in the offered role. Like the other questions in the list, it forces their attention to the fact that you are interested in more than just a paycheck. It indicates that you are confident about your skill and already thinking ahead about your role and targets in the company. It also shows that you like to set targets for yourself, which helps you measure success.
#7. What are Some Traits that are Not a Good Fit for Someone in this Role?
Asking a negative question is usually a big no-no, especially during the interview process. But this also opens up an opportunity for one to stand out from the rest. It is highly improbable this question will be asked to any interviewing manager, also making it memorable. It is also a thoughtful question that would force the interviewers to think about the answer carefully. But it also has an added benefit. It shows to the panel that you are looking for a job that is the right fit for you and not just the first available job. This could also propel you to a higher position quickly if you are hired. It is an excellent way to position yourself as a top-tier job candidate.
#8. Why did You say ‘Yes’ When Offered a Position in the Company?
This is not a question focused on the job, the role you need to fulfill, or even about the company. But it is a personal question that you would ask the interviewing manager. Now, if they are not the owner or founder of the company, then it is likely they have to go through the same process as you. By asking this question, you would be connecting with them on a personal level. Everyone is biased, and there is nothing one can do about that. But you can exploit this bias by forging a personal connection with the interviewer. And secondly, who does not like to talk about themselves? Your interviewer would be more than happy to share their experiences with you, which could easily be a learning experience.
#9. What do You Think Would be the Most Challenging Aspect of the Job?
While being an optimist is good, businesses look for a genuine guy, who can tackle the challenges and the difficulties in the job. This question does an excellent job of exhibiting to employers that you are that candidate. You understand that you would have a difficult task at hand, no matter your experience in the field. By asking such a question, you indicate to the interviewing panel that you are happy to take the challenge head-on. And also willing to be prepared for it ahead of time. And ahead of time, it is, as you have not even been hired yet. However, you are ready to take the bull by the horns.
#10. What are Some of Your Concerns Regarding the Department Right Now?
This is another excellent question that you have to ask your interviewing panel. Naturally, there must be a reason why there is a vacancy opening in the company. Now, you obviously cannot ask this question directly, but indirectly, sure. It is a thoughtful question, indicating that you are looking for the right working environment for your potential supervisor. It also shows you the trait of a problem-solver or someone willing to know about the challenges they face beforehand. And finally, regarding how serious you are about your career prospects.
#11. What are Your End Year Goals?
Businesses always look to hire employees who are willing to stick around for a long time. But even if you do not possibly see yourself at the same company five years later, your employers hope that you do. But there is no way to commit to that, so the best thing you can do is give a sign that you are willing to do. And the best way you can do that is by asking the interviewing manager about the company’s year-end goal. Or at least in reference to your role and department. This does two things. First, it indicates that you are someone that can be relied upon for a long role in the company. And second, you are someone conscious about your career path and is looking to grow – which could result in you getting a promotion in the next couple of years.
#12. How Often Does the Company Promote People Internally?
It is another question that is in line with the previous point. Since companies look for a way to hire personnel that will stay with them long-term, you must give them that. Or at least give the impression that you are willing to do so. And the best way you can do that is by asking indirect questions suggesting the same. It shows you are someone who is willing to grow, and there is no way that you will stay in the same position for years and years. By asking the interviewer questions about the internal promotions, you hint that you want to grow. You will stick with the company if it allows you to do so.
#13. How Does Performance Review Work in this Company?
Naturally, if you are looking to grow in the company, you need to know how the reviewing process works. And also, whether there is an actual performance review or not. You should not take a role in such a company that does not have a mechanism regarding the performance reviews of its employees. The reason – there is simply no room for growth in the company. How can an employee grow if they are not incentives with better pay with performance or promotions? This question also indicates that you understand the importance of performance reviews to the panel.
#14. What has Been Your Working Experience in the Company?
This is another one of those questions that can forge a personal bond between you and the interviewer. But it is also an excellent conversation starter. The person on the other end of the desk must have been in your position a while back. And since they are on the other end, they likely have a positive experience in the company you are applying to. It is a unique and engaging conversation to familiarize with the working environment in the company and build a rapport with the interviewing manager.
#15. What Would be the First Problem that the Hired Person Would have to Tackle?
Another excellent question that indicates to the interviewers is that you are focused on the job and ready to contribute to the offered role from day one. It also indicates that you like to plan and invite challenges to the panel. But as a bonus, you would also discover the company’s pain point by asking such questions. This allows you to demonstrate to the interviewers that you are the guy that can solve their problems.
#16. What are Some Advantages Your Company has Over its Competitors?
Businesses like to hire someone who can see the big picture regardless of their role in the organization. This question is designed to show the interviewers that you are that person. You are not only interested in their business, but you are also business-minded with a kindred soul that is naturally curious about the business. This would easily distinguish you from other candidates who would more than likely ask questions about the offered role and the day-to-day work. Businesses want more from their employers, and through this question, you can show that you are the perfect candidate for them.
#17. Who are Your Top Competitors in the Market?
This question is on the same line as the previous one, and it roughly serves the same purpose as well. It shows that you are interested in the industry and want to know its top competitors in the market and companies like individuals who are curious about their growth and direct competitors. It signals to the interviewing panel that you are a curious person, interested in the job and the company.
#18. What are the Top Soft Skills for this Role?
Soft skills are one determining criteria that can easily help an interviewer find the right candidate. But let’s be honest; likely, every applicant is similarly qualified for the position. And they likely have the same level of experience as well. So, how can interviewers find the right candidate from this herd? Simple, by taking into account the soft skills, and by asking this question, you can allow yourself to demonstrate the necessary soft skills for the position.
#19. What are the Company Values?
Applicants generally ask generic questions about the day-to-day work at the company or something related to company culture. Do not do that. Ask a question regarding what are the core values of the company? Or how does their value impact the daily work at the office? This is, without a doubt, a more creative question than the previous examples. But keep in mind here that you should not ask a question whose answer can be easily found on the company’s website.
#20. Ask Questions about the Topic you have Discussed in the Interview
Generally, the applicant questioning the interviewers happens at the end of the interview. If that is the case, you can make the most of it by asking creative questions about the topics you have discussed before. It would show the panel that you are always eager to learn about the subject at the end and improve your knowledge.
Now, you have a list of all the creative and unique questions to ask an employer during an interview. So, get ready for the next interview with a confident and positive approach now!