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Smart Questions to Ask During an Interview

"You like me, you really like me!" Sally Field once famously said.

The phrase resonates with people--and with good reason. Deep down, we all want to be liked. But when it comes to interviewing for a job, the company’s approval isn’t everything. You have to really like them, too!

An Interview is a Two Way Street

As with any relationship, the candidate and the company both need to like each other for it to be a good fit. Unfortunately, many job candidates get so wrapped up trying to win the admiration of the interviewer that they forget this.They spend their prep time focusing on how they should answer every possible question and forget the most important questions: the ones they should be asking.

Prepare the Right Questions

Before your next interview, prepare at least three smart questions to ask. The answers to smart questions require more than a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. They cannot be found on the website or in the job description. They are questions that will help you better understand the specific role, company, or culture. To vet a company during an interview, try asking a few of the following smart questions:

  • Who will I be reporting to directly in this position?
  • Can you tell me about what a typical career path looks like for this department?
  • What are the biggest challenges this team is currently facing?
  • How do you evaluate performance?
  • What is your process for giving employees feedback and helping them grow?
  • What opportunities do you offer in terms of professional development?
  • How would you describe the company culture?
  • What do you love most about working here?
  • What are the next steps for the hiring process?
  • Who should I reach out to if I have any further questions?

Ask Away, and Take Notes

Talk to any recruiter--they will tell you that the people who ask good questions AND take notes are often the ones that get hired. Ask smart questions because you want to know the answer! How a company responds should shape whether or not you want to join their team. If they don’t have positive things to say about the company culture or what they love about working there, heed the warning. On the other hand, if they answer your questions with authentic, honest and optimistic replies--you could be in great hands.

Best of luck in your job search & happy interviewing!

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