What Questions To Ask During An Interview – Dear Matt: Do you have any interview tips? I always read about the importance of asking recent college students the right interview questions, but I don’t know what questions to ask in an interview. Can you provide a list of these interview questions and what questions employers should ask recent college graduates and entry-level job applicants?
Matt: I wish I had a list of interview questions to ask when interviewing for an entry-level job. Because it definitely helps me to prepare for the interview and be confident in asking the right questions during the interview.
What Questions To Ask During An Interview
Good news! Below is a great, comprehensive list of the best interview questions to ask employers, featuring great advice from Corporate America recruiters and career management leaders from two of the nation’s top business schools.
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The reality is that if you’re confident and prepared when you walk into an interview, you can relax, be yourself and shine.
But many job seekers, especially recent college graduates, feel shy or embarrassed when they go to their first interviews. I was one of them, and looking back on those early interviews, I never asked the right questions because I wasn’t ready to ask them. This has a huge impact on how employers view you, as well as your ability to succeed at work and fit in with the team.
“Not asking questions means a lack of interest and a missed opportunity to apply,” says Susie Clark, director of student careers at Indiana’s Kelly School of Business. “It’s important to remember that an interview is a two-way street and they expect you to have questions, so show them you’re prepared and interested in their position.”
Corinne M. Snell, associate dean of student professional development at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, agrees. Prior to his current role, Snell worked in corporate America, holding academic liaison positions for Campbell’s Soup Company, Siemens Health Services and Lutron Electronics.
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“A certain level of spontaneity is expected in any interview, but candidates should have a list of questions in advance,” says Snell. “The worst thing you can do is pretend there are no questions or say, ‘Um, I think we’ve covered everything.’
The most important thing for a student or recent graduate to remember is that as much as a recruiter or hiring manager is interviewing them, they’re also interviewing a potential employer, says Buffalo talent acquisition consultant Justin Bischoff. Wild Wings, a casual franchise restaurant and sports bar.
“Ask questions about things you care about,” says Bischoff. “These should be things that you think will keep you with the employer for a long time.”
Try talking, says Bischoff. For example, if you’re interested in sales, “You mentioned earlier in our interview that one of the main goals of this role is to increase sales at the restaurant, can you tell me more?”
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“I’m also impressed with a candidate who researched the company and the position before the interview,” says Bischoff. “By asking questions about what you’ve learned about things that really matter to you, you can show the time and effort you put into joining the organization’s team.”
When Snell puts it bluntly, “Employees turn the tables and ask, ‘What questions do you have?’ Be prepared for the moment of being asked.
That’s what appeals to today’s corporate recruiter, says Asma Anees, a talent consultant at Blue Cross, a health care provider in Minnesota. She manages college relations at Blue Cross and is one of the first people to interview/consult on phone calls with recent college graduates and frontline employees interviewing the company.
Anees says job seekers who ask about the challenges of the job/job stand out. Employers prefer candidates who are willing to take on challenges and know what it takes to be successful on the job. “It helps me understand their willingness to take on certain responsibilities,” Anees said.
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“What are my performance expectations or how will I be evaluated?” Job seekers like to ask interview questions like anise.
“These students have been getting grades for everything they’ve done for years,” Anies said. “These millennials want to know where they stand, and I appreciate that. It tells me they want to perform well and be rewarded for it.”
Training A good question to ask is: Will there be training or mentoring for this role? Anees said job seekers who are waiting for career opportunities stand out.
“Great questions” are the company’s job seekers who are interested in the business, strategic planning, how the company is diversifying and whether the company is growing, Anees said. “It tells me that they care about the well-being of the organization and its future.”
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“It’s less likely that there will be enough time to ask a lot of questions, so the candidate should be prepared and have some questions ready,” says Snell. “The interview is a two-way street and employers expect job applicants to be prepared with thoughtful and intelligent questions.”
Remember, though: Being thoughtful and insightful doesn’t mean asking for how much vacation, pay, or benefits you should get. This information will be discussed over time.
1. Can you tell us about yourself and your career path? Yes, job seekers should ask the interviewer about this. This allows you to learn more about the employer, what this person likes about the company, and can create a shared interest to strengthen the connection. “It’s about building relationships and showing genuine interest is important,” Clark said.
2. What are your reasons for staying with this company or why did you join the company recently? Their answer usually says a lot about the work environment/company culture. “For many students and recent college graduates, company culture is an important deciding factor,” Clark said.
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3. What skills or qualities contributed to your success here? This is an opportunity for you to highlight your strengths in one of these skills you already have.
4. I learned a lot today and I’m even more excited about this opportunity, so is there anything I can share or ask about my ability to do this job? “It shows that you want the job and you want to dispel any fears they may still have,” Clark says.
When the interview is over and the employer still hasn’t talked about it, Clark says you should always ask: What are the next steps in the interview process?
“It’s important that you know what to expect and when to move on if you don’t hear back from them,” Clark says.
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“When a candidate asks thought-provoking questions, it shows that they have strong communication skills, are genuinely interested in the opportunity and are willing to make a long-term investment,” says Bischoff. Ultimately, asking the right questions will make the interview and the candidate memorable during the hiring decision.
Dara Warne, director of results at Penn Foster Education Group, impresses employers with asking questions about how a company onboards new employees:
Why this question: By asking this question, the job candidate demonstrates an interest in the company’s culture and is setting them up for success from the start by committing to the employees and their career path. “The first few months of a new job are a critical period for developing the employee-employer relationship, and the candidate wants to know that the company is a place where they can grow and mature,” says Warne. “In our work with business partners, we’ve helped create mentoring programs where new employees develop and strengthen professional and interpersonal skills.”
Another good question, Warne says, is “How does your company encourage cooperation/teamwork among its employees and show honesty and initiative?”
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Why this question: This question shows that the candidate has some “soft skills” that they can learn and improve upon entering the job market. This student may have graduated from an institution that offers soft skills training (or “power skills”) as a stand-alone program and is already well on its way to developing these critical skills for life and work.
Good questions show that you’ve researched the position, the company, and even highlighted some of your strengths. “It signals to the employer that you’re very interested and excited about the opportunity,” Clark says.
“I appreciate it when candidates take the last few minutes to confirm their interest and explain why their skills and abilities will make an impact on the team,” says Anies. “Don’t forget a smile and a firm handshake.”
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