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Questions to Ask During an Interview

Steven DuncanSteven Duncan

TA Blog Inage SD

When you walk into an interview, you’re most likely focused on providing the “right” answers to the interviewer’s questions. But over the last decade, one thing I’ve learned is the questions you ask at the end of the interview are just as important as the ones you answer at the beginning. By asking the right questions, candidates can gain valuable insights about the role, the company culture, and potential fit within the organization. Moreover, preparing thoughtful, deliberate questions to ask your interviewer demonstrates your interest in the company and can show them that you’re focused on building a career at their company.

Since joining Assurant in 2016, I’ve been fortunate enough to support several critical hiring initiatives around the globe. I’ve interviewed hundreds of prospects. One of the biggest determining factors of whether a candidate progresses past me to the hiring manager is the questions candidates ask me during an interview. In addition to prequalifying their skill sets and functional expertise, I want to uncover their motivations and identify what drives their decisions. The truth is that individuals spend so much time examining job descriptions and researching the company that they forget to interview the company. But “a perfect marriage takes two to tango,” as the saying goes. And although companies spend a lot of money to engage, nurture, and onboard top talent, candidates arguably have a higher stake in the game.

As the labor market becomes increasingly competitive, here are six solid questions that future candidates can utilize to differentiate themselves from the competition and ensure the company is a good fit for the next steps of their career.

 Interview Questions to Ask Prospective Employers and How to Evaluate Their Responses

  1. Can you describe the day-to-day scope of the role and foreseeable challenges (if any)? Understanding the daily responsibilities and challenges of the role is essential in determining whether it aligns with your skills and interests. The answer to this question can provide valuable insights into the job's expectations and potential obstacles you might encounter. It can also help you identify any gaps or responsibilities that may not have made it into the official job description.

  2. How does this role contribute to the overall success of the organization and department? 
    This question can help you grasp the bigger picture. The interviewer’s response should shed light on how the position fits within the company's strategic objectives and how it influences the department's goals. Not only will you gain a deeper understanding of the success metrics you’ll be responsible for delivering, but you’ll also get insight into the impact your work could have.

  3. What are the most immediate projects that need to be addressed if I step into the role tomorrow?
    Asking about immediate projects shows your eagerness to contribute from day one. The answer will give you an idea of the organization's priorities and what you can expect in the initial phase of your employment. It's an opportunity to gauge the urgency and complexity of your tasks.

  4. Do you expect the primary responsibilities for this position to change in the next six months to a year?
    Knowing whether the role will evolve soon is crucial for career planning. The answer can reveal the company's growth prospects, potential for advancement, and if the role aligns with your long-term career goals.

  5. Can you describe what attributes someone needs to have to be successful in this position?
    This question allows the interviewer to outline the key traits and skills they value most in candidates. By understanding these attributes, you can gauge if you possess the necessary qualifications and if the role aligns with your strengths and aspirations.

  6. Now that we’ve talked, do you have any hesitancy about me moving on to the next step of the interview process? Bonus: Is there anything else you’d like to know about my experience?
    Asking for feedback about your interview performance shows your eagerness to improve and your open-mindedness to learn from the interviewers. It also allows you to address any concerns they may have and clear up misunderstandings, reinforcing your interest in the role.

Job interviews are a two-way street, allowing candidates and employers to assess the potential fit. By preparing thoughtful questions to ask at the end of an interview -- like the ones mentioned above -- candidates can gain a deeper understanding of the company, the role, and how their skills align with the organization's needs. With this knowledge, candidates can confidently decide if the position is the right next step in their career journey. Remember, a well-prepared interviewee is more likely to make a positive impression and find the perfect match between their skills and the company's needs.

Looking for more tips to help with your job search? Check out the blog for more tips and advice! 






Steven Duncan

Written by

Steven Duncan

Principal Talent Acquisition Consultant

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