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Everyone knows interviews to be question-and-answer routines. You know what questions HR will ask you in an interview. You know what questions are illegal to ask, and questions that suggest a job is a scam. But, do you ever ask questions of the manager? You might not.
If you are a serious career person, you already know that there are many questions to ask in an interview. You need to ask about salary, corporate culture, and of course, what the position would fully entail—just for starters.
However, in this competitive job market, asking the basic questions that you would expect to ask isn't enough. Hiring managers want to know that the person who they're looking to onboard will be brighter than most and will act as an asset to the team.
Smart managers will look to see what candidates ask about as well as what they have to say about their qualifications. Candidates who want to make sure they put their best foot forward would be wise to ask the following questions when they decide to meet with the managers during their job interviews.
"What would you like to see me accomplish in the first three to six months of being here?"
Without a doubt, this is one of the best questions to ask in an interview. This not only shows hiring managers that you are looking to the future and are capable of planning but also gets them visualizing you in that position.
Better this, a question like this will allow you to discover whether or not the job is something that you're qualified for. If it's not something you feel you could do, then you probably want to skip this for a better position.
"What are your most and least favorite aspects of the job?"
While this may be one of the more standard questions to ask in an interview, you'd be surprised to hear how many people will avoid asking this in fear of retaliation. Most people don't want to make hiring managers uncomfortable with the wrong question.
However, this question is gutsy, gives you good insight into the manager's mind, and also allows you to offer up solutions to the parts of their jobs that they may not like. This, in turn, can get you hired.
"How is success measured in the company? How is it rewarded?"
If you're looking for a good way to show that you're seriously ambitious and a real go-getter, this is the question you should ask. Not many others will signal that you are ready to tackle the job, and that you want to work the way that the company wants you to work like this one.
That being said, while this is one of the better "hire me" questions to ask in an interview, it also can yield great insight into what life would be like working for this company.
A toxic workplace will tell you that success means you're still hired—or, if they're slick, will tell you that you're rewarded with "experience." Don't fall for those lies. Great companies will reward people with more than just being hired.
"What opportunities will I have to learn and grow?"
A company that is smart enough to seek out top talent will typically want to encourage employees to develop their skills and grow into better roles. Presenting yourself as a person who wants to learn is a good way to ensure that HR understands you have a lot of potential value.
Moreover, this remains one of the smarter questions to ask in an interview simply because it tells you whether or not you will actually have an opportunity to advance. After all, dead-end jobs will not have opportunities to grow.
"Can you tell me what success would look like here?"
Few questions to ask in an interview will have as much impact as this one. In one swoop, you're showing hiring managers that you want to understand the core of the company's culture while also getting valuable details about the job position.
This is the kind of question that can seriously help you develop your own career path, determine whether you want the level of success that this company will offer, and also tell you whether the day to day responsibilities are worth it in the long term.
"How does your company handle failure?"
This is understandably one of the scariest questions to ask in an interview, simply because a lot of job seeker types tend to assume that it suggests they'll fail. Believe it or not, most managers are very open during a job interview and will actually think better of you for asking this.
The only time that a company will think poorly of you for asking this is when they can't handle failure and will not work with employees who don't hit the ground running. In this case, you're often better off continuing your job search.
When asking this, keep an eye out for positive experiences. You want an upbeat, healthy workplace.
"What is your management style?"
Different management styles will work with different personalities, and it's important to show that you are aware of this when you're trying to find a job. The reason why this is one of the top questions to ask in an interview is because it lets you connect with the manager on a personal level.
When you let them talk about themselves and their style, you get a better understanding of what you would end up experiencing on a daily basis. It also lets them know you aren't self-centered, which in turn shows that you have some emotional intelligence.
"How would my job work with the long-term goals of the company?"
This subtle-not-subtle interview question is a good way to signal that you aren't someone who just sticks around for a year and leaves. You want to give people the impression that you're looking for longterm work, even if you aren't.
Seeing things from the broader scope will impress most hiring managers, simply because it shows foresight from a candidate that is hard to find in this day and age.
"What kind of skills are most important to excel here? What are the hardest aspects of this role to overcome?"
You want to make sure that your hiring manager sees that you have the skills and understanding to be the best possible candidate. By seeing what skills are necessary and what will be the hardest issues to tackle, you're signaling that you're willing to try to work at being the best.
That being said, these are the best questions to ask in an interview when you're not completely sure whether or not you're really a good fit, too. Either way, it'll cast you in a good light.
"So, what's next?"
Lastly, one of the most mandatory questions to ask in an interview is the question that shows you want to get the job. This is the easiest way to smoothly transition to the discussion of getting hired, or to get details about when you'll get the information next.