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6 smartest questions to ask in a job interview

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What’s an interview for? As well as a potential manager judging whether you have what it takes, it’s a chance for you to find out if a company and role is right for you, too.

As we tell job candidates we meet every day at Exectec, when an interviewer turns the tables to ask if you have any questions, what you ask could cement yourself as a standout candidate - as well as let you in on information about the role and company you might never have otherwise.

Take a look at our list of 6 questions to make an interviewer's ears prick up (and then five to avoid like the plague…)

1 Can you talk me through a typical day in this role?

Hiring managers aren’t looking for candidates who’ll walk blindly into a new role, but people who are really interested in finding out what a job’s like day-to-day before they commit. This question also shows that you’re running a check in your own head that you have the skills to succeed in the job.

2 What can you tell me about the team I'll be working with?

Not only is this question phrased with the confident assumption that you’ll get the job, but it’s also a great chance to get some insider information about future colleagues that you can draw on further down the line.

3 What do you think are the biggest challenges for whoever ends up in this role?

This direct question shows that you appreciate being properly prepared for what’s to come - and don’t shirk from tackling any problems head-on. It also indicates that you’re already picturing yourself in the role and thinking up a plan of attack.

4 After I've been in this role for three months, how will you measure my success?

This is another question that’s phrased with a confident assumption you’ll join the team. It shows you value clear objectives, and any information you receive will help you understand what a potential manager expects from you.

5 Are there any challenges your team has dealt with in the last 12 months, and what was the greatest?

Expect your interviewer to have been talking in glowing terms about what it’s like to work for their company or on their team. Posing this question can shake things off the usual path and help you discover something a bit more authentic. It’s also a way to highlight the fact you would take your part within a team and company seriously.

6 What made you want to join this company?

Although if you ask this question you should be prepared to get a full-on sales pitch back, turning the tables can also create a sense of camaraderie between you and the interviewer (and who doesn’t like talking about themselves?). Plus, you’ll get a glimpse into what motivates your future manager and what they feel are the company’s best bits.

And five questions not to ask (obviously!)

  1. What does your company do?
  2. How much sick pay will I get?
  3. Will you monitor my email and social media profiles?
  4. How do you handle poor performance?
  5. How did I do?

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