There are a few ways you can impress hiring managers in a job interview. You can stand out for your answers, your personality, aptitude, and experience, your knowledge of the company, and the questions you ask.
But which questions do hiring managers expect you to ask?
According to a recent study by Zety, there are a handful of questions hiring managers expect you to ask before the interview concludes. Here are the top five:
1. Can You Show Me Examples Of Projects I'd Be Working On?
Why a hiring manager wants to hear this: They want to know you're serious about wanting the job, and excited to add value to the company from the very start. It shows initiative. If you're already thinking about working on projects this early in the hiring process, that puts you way ahead of the other candidates who are just trying not to bomb the interview.
What their answer will tell you: You'll get a sense of what your average project will look like. You'll also be able to get a better idea if this is the type of work you want to do. Could you develop your skills working on these projects? Is this work that will challenge you to grow as a professional? If the hiring manager stumbles trying to answer this question, they might not have been completely transparent about what the position actually entails.
2. What Are The Skills And Experience You’re Looking For In An Ideal Candidate?
Why a hiring manager wants to hear this: It shows you're curious and that you want to know exactly what you need in order to succeed in the position. You are interested in being that ideal candidate. You are interested in being a successful employee.
What their answer will tell you: You'll know exactly what they are looking for, all the skills and experience they didn't mention in the job description. It also gives you another opportunity to prove you have the skills and experience they're looking for. A great way to provide proof is by using the STAR technique we recommend job seekers use to answer behavioral interview questions.
3. What Are The Most Immediate Projects That Would Need To Be Addressed?
Why a hiring manager wants to hear this: Even more so than the first question on the list, this question shows that you are a proactive employee. You are already imagining yourself working for the company and contributing to its success. You are eager to add value and prove that you are an excellent employee.
What their answer will tell you: You'll have a clearer understanding of what your first few months will look like on the job. It'll help you imagine working for the company, and allow you to brainstorm ideas for the projects they mention. Also, it'll help you plan ahead. In the case you do get the job, you'll already be prepared to jump in and add value from your very first day.
4. What Does A Typical Day Look Like?
Why a hiring manager wants to hear this: They'll know that you're already imagining yourself in the position. Hiring managers are looking for serious job candidates. They're not looking for candidates who don't care what they'll be doing day-to-day because those are usually the same candidates who are only interested in a paycheck.
What their answer will tell you: It's simple. You'll find out what a typical day in this position looks like. Don't like what you hear? That's probably a red flag. But if you like what the hiring manager says, that's a good indication that you'll be happy working the job.
5. Do You Expect The Main Responsibilities For This Position To Change In The Next Six Months To A Year?
Why a hiring manager wants to hear this: You're seeing if there is potential to stay at the company long term, either in the job you applied for or in a different position if you get promoted. They want to know you hope to stay at the company for longer than one or two years because it costs employers a lot of money to hire new employees. They might get the impression that you'll be a loyal employee.
What their answer will tell you: It'll tell you whether you'll be expected to do tasks you weren't originally hired for or not. If the hiring manager says the main responsibilities for the position will change, you can ask them to elaborate. Do the changes align with your career goals? Is that how you want to grow in the company, in your career? If not, you probably won't see any long-term career potential there, and it might be best if you look for a job elsewhere.
Never leave a job interview without asking the hiring manager a few questions. If you don't ask at least one of the questions above, hiring managers might choose the candidate who does (if all else is equal). Just remember to ask the questions you really want to know the answers to, the questions that will help you decide whether or not you want to work for the company.
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