Man asking essential job interview questions

Asking questions in your job interview not only makes you stand out in positive ways, it also helps you find out things you need to know (during the interview and before you take the job).

Asking these seven questions in your job interview will put you miles ahead of your competition and give you a better shot at the job:

1.If your ideal candidate walked through the door right now, what qualities, skills, or experience would they have?


Why would you ask a question like this and potentially highlight how you're not perfect for the job? It's because there is no such thing as the ideal candidate. They can wish all they want, but they probably won't get it.

Where you benefit with this question is that when you hear what's important to them, you can then talk about those or similar things in your own experience—which elevates you as a candidate. It's almost like getting a cheat sheet for your interview answers.

2.Was the last person in this role successful? Why or why not?


Knowing the story of what happened to the last person in this job is important. First, it will help you better answer their questions. If the last person didn't do well, you can talk about how you would do it differently. If the last person did spectacularly and got promoted, you know what you need to do to be considered successful. Second, you may even discover a few clues that will help you determine if you want to take this job or not.

3.What will a typical day look like in this job?


Their answer to this will help you determine everyday tasks as well as company culture. Is this somewhere you can fit in and be successful?

4.What are the biggest challenges going to be for the person in this position?


When they talk to you about their biggest challenges, you'll know exactly what stories to tell about how you have tackled (and conquered) similar challenges. You will be showing them that you are a great fit for this job.

5.What do you love most about working here?


Asking a positive question like this one will help you get a better idea of the employer and the kind of experience you could expect to have if you were hired, helping you figure out whether the job is a good fit for you or not. This will also be an opportunity for you to connect with your interviewer and stand out in the hiring process.

6.How will I measure my performance in this role?


By phrasing the question this way, you're taking full ownership of your work, and the employer will notice that. You are sending the message that you will be accountable for your actions.

Plus, if they can't explain how you'll be able to measure your own performance to make sure you're having an impact, that's a huge red flag. This question will help you weed out the positions where there's little opportunity to develop your skills, receive promotions, and earn raises.

7.What's the next step in this process?


Absolutely never, ever leave an interview without knowing what and when the next step is. Employers expect you to ask about it. If you don't they may assume that you're not that interested in the job. So, ask it to let them know you're interested and to give yourself some peace of mind about what to expect.

Find out more questions to ask, how to research the company, best interview answers, and cutting-edge interview tips in our Free Job Interview Prep Kit.

Always be sure to prepare a few questions to ask the hiring manager before the big day arrives. Write them down if you have to, and review them before the job interview starts.

For more information about interview questions, check out this video!

Having trouble landing a job? Watch our free tutorial "8 Ways You're Being SHUT OUT Of The Hiring Process" with career expert J.T. O'Donnell to find out what's holding you back from getting hired…and how to fix it! WATCH NOW

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