Tell me about yourself.
This is a question that is almost always asked in job interviews.
Are you really sure that preparing the perfect answer to this question is the best way to differentiate yourself from other candidates, no it's not.
In this article, I'll give you 10 silver bullets based on the most effective situations in a job interview, where you can ask questions to the interviewer.
#1 - Is there anything about my background or skills that makes you wonder if I am a good fit for this role?
This subject demonstrates that you are profoundly interested in the job and engaged in digging deep to make you better prospects as a candidate. It will provide you with an opportunity to acknowledge and justify any potential concerns should doubt arises.
#2 - Based on your assessment of my expertise, what could be the challenges of this job?
The interviewer knows best about the job aspects, and what kind of challenges might arise based on your level of expertise.
It is always good to listen to their assessment, and you are in an excellent position to share your thought to address those challenges.
#3 - Who will I be working the most with?
This question is essential to analyze the expectation from the company side towards you being cross-functional. Identify whether you are task to work with within department or do you have to jump around to collaborate with different teams.
#4 - Are there opportunities for me to develop my career with the company?
This question allows you to see a glimpse of your future as a professional should you take up the position. Positive feedback from the interviewer will be in explaining the potential career path and how you can grow your skill in a long-term (means that they already think it through).
If the interviewer cannot satisfy you with a reasonable explanation, it is a red flag that can cause you to stay in the offered position for a very long period.
#5 - How do you determine success in term of KPI for this position?
Every company has their means to measure the achievement of a specific role, and yours is not an exception. Hence, if the interviewer is your potential supervisor, you should ask about his or her expectation in measuring success from your end and see whether you have further concern regarding that matter.
#6 - What is the primary day-to-day task for this role?
This question is crucial to set your expectation and readiness for the role should you been selected. From here, you can measure whether this job will be overwhelming for you or it provides the right balance.
Remember, getting an explanation from the interviewer based on this question will paint you a clearer picture. It determines whether this job focuses on your specific set of skills or requires you to be more generalist.
#7 - Can you share with me the best part of working at the company?
It is always beneficial to learn from people's experience and to listen to their honest opinion regarding something. Whether it is good or bad, there is still something we can take and carry for our good.
Always consider the interviewer as someone who serves the company (even if the interviewer is the founder or the CEO). They will have their thought about the working environment and culture in the company that you can take into consideration.
Remember, an interview session is also meant for you to learn as much about the company, something that you cannot get from the search engine.
#8 - What is the expected character an employee should maintain to represent the company's value?
Companies operate with different value and principle. Some company would like to be seen as fun and interactive company. Few company expect to maintain as formal, black suit and tie image due to their business nature, or to ensure the presence of professionalism.
You can research about the company' culture and working style from the internet. But always cross-check with the interviewer to make sure that your expectation is align to what you have read from the web.
#9 - May I know the company's future plan in 5 years time?
It's kind of the flip side of the question you're most often asked by interviewers as a candidate.
However, to be honest, even if HR could talk about the 5-year vision, it would be very difficult for them to realize it, as few companies always achieve what they talk about in their shareholders meetings.
In other words, the question itself is not very meaningful; it is just a question to interview the interviewer. (Also, the fact that you are asked such a question as a candidate can be taken as a sign of your ability to prepare.)
#10 - What tools does your team use to communicate?
This information will help you to understand and anticipate the work flow should you be joining. It gives you more room to prepare as well if the work structure involve some technical tools like Trello or Jira for instance.
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How were the ten questions?
I imagine that as you went through the questions, there were some that you thought you would like to use and some that you thought you didn't need to ask.
Even though the question time is such an opportunity, it is nonsense to ask all 10 questions since you and interviewer are both busy.
I would be very happy if you could use some of the 10 questions I mentioned here that you think are good for the situation.
I wish you a very happy career, see you soon!