Your job hunt’s moving along, and to prepare for your upcoming meeting with the hiring manager, you’re practicing your answers to all of the most common interview questions.
But, there’s one that you’re feeling a little stuck on—what are you going to say when the tables turn and you’re asked: “Do you have any questions for me?”
While it’s a great opportunity to engage in meaningful conversation with the interviewer—and yes, show off—it can be scary to take the wheel.
I’m not trying to make you even more nervous, but I really believe this is an important part to nail. You want to end strong, and it’s an opportunity to differentiate yourself from the other candidates. While most people who interview will be qualified, you can stand out by asking thoughtful questions that the person sitting across from you will actually remember.
Here are four different types you can ask (so you’re sure to have at least one option that seems like the perfect fit!):
1. Ask About What Makes Their Job Hard
- What’s a challenge you currently are facing in your role?
- How is the company helping you tackle this challenge?
Everyone faces challenges in their job—that’s a given. So, it’s not going to bring the conversation to a dead halt.
With that said, interviewers often focus on the positives about the company.
These questions will give you insight into organizational structures and resources that are in place to help employees perform and execute work. So asking this will help you identify any red flags during the interview stage.
2. Ask About a High Point
- What’s a great day like for you?
- What achievement here you are most proud of?
This question complements the one above. Just like you may want to learn more about the obstacles that exist, it’s also great to learn what excites your prospective colleagues. It’ll show you a range of what to expect if you were to take this role.
Additionally, since most people like talking their successes, it’ll keep the conversation going in a positive direction—which is always a good thing in an interview.
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3. Ask About Their Personal Connection to the Work
- What drew you to your role at [Company]?
- How do you feel your role furthers the mission?
Every company has some form of overarching mission and vision. In fact, you’re probably preparing to discuss it in your own words,
But this question gets into how this specific employee interprets it and how it impacts their work on a daily basis. It tells you how they help the organization achieve its goals and objectives—and gives you a peek into how engaged and impactful employees feel.
4. Ask About the People They Work With
- Who is someone you admire in your company, and why?
- What are some things the team does together?
Many of us want mentors—or at the very least role models to look up to and emulate. This question will give you a sense of the types of leaders who exist at the company, as well as the skills, experiences, or competencies that others see as valuable.
The second one gives you a glimpse into company culture. Does the interviewer discuss standups and team projects, and leave it there? Or do they mention team lunches or even a company softball league? You’re going to be spending a lot of time with your new co-workers, so it’s good to know how they interact.
If these haven’t quite touched on what you’d like to ask, we have 51 interview questions you can bring up, so you’re sure to have options you feel good about.
No matter what you choose to discuss, remember it’s about more than gathering information on the company, people, and role. Beyond that you want to show off your thoughtfulness. What you say gives the interviewer a glimpse into the topics that you think are worth learning more about. So, ask questions you genuinely want to know the answer to—and you’ll also get points for being sincere.
Photo of interview courtesy of RubberBall Productions/Getty Images.
Al is a Management Consultant, writer, and speaker. His work has been featured in outlets such as The Muse, Business Insider, Time, and the World Economic Forum. Al writes about job search strategy, career development, higher education, and personal development. He also coaches motivated professionals as a Career Coach on The Muse. See more of his writing on his website or follow him on Twitter.More from this Author