Coming to the interview with questions accomplishes a couple things. First and foremost, it can be an effective way to show you are engaged with the opportunity. Second, it can help you to better assess the role and company to make sure this is the right match for you. Here are some great ways to accomplish both goals with your interview questions.
Interview questions that show engagement
Right off the bat, the downside here is that I’m about to ask you to do extra work in your interview preparation. But I promise I have good reasons for doing so.
Many interviewers are familiar with lists of interview question ideas available to candidates. The same way that candidates are familiar with many standard interview questions. The basic questions we get from these online lists aren’t always the most effective options. They’re oftentimes more about just having questions and don’t necessarily help us get what we need.
What do you really care about?
So instead, I recommend using the company website as a starting point. Go through all the resources and see what you can learn about the organization. This type of research is essential for any interview, and now you can also use it to help formulate your questions.
After looking at the information, what’s missing? What additional things would you like to learn about the company? Maybe you’d like to learn more about the philanthropic efforts they mention. Or perhaps you can’t quite tell what the accounting career trajectories look like. Not only does this process create questions that are unique instead of generic, it also generates questions whose answer you actually care about. So it’s kind of a win-win.
And before I forget
There’s another reason this research is essential to your questions. You don’t ever want to ask a question that’s easily answered on the website. That makes an interviewer think you didn’t do any research on the company.
Engagement bonus points
What’s even better about this method is that it potentially allows you to show the interviewer that you’ve done your homework. When asking the question, mention that it was website research that really got you thinking about XYZ and now you’d like to know more. So, you show engagement simply by having unique questions. But even better, you also show engagement by clearly having done some meaningful research on the company. You’re engaging on multiple levels.
Interview Questions about the job
What you often won’t find on the website is the exact details about the job you’re interviewing for. The website will have plenty of information on the company itself. But at some point, you also need to assess the role itself to make sure it’s a match for you. Interview questions are a great way to dig more into the role. You can learn about the real daily tasks, whether you’re mostly on a team or working independently, and if your skills align with the key skills needed for this role.
These questions show engagement, but they also work at a very practical level to give you some key information.