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5 Thoughtful Questions to Ask in an Interview

By Jocelyn Yeung

October 2, 2018

A successful interview requires thoughtful and diligent preparation. As you review common interview questions, research the company, and polish your résumé, be sure to also think about any questions that you would like to ask your interviewer. By asking thoughtful questions during an interview, you can demonstrate your interest in the position and learn more about your potential employer.

Before I discuss some examples of questions you can ask during an interview, I would like to point out that it is best to avoid asking questions that can be easily answered by a simple internet search. This is where company research comes into play – try to become familiar with the basic job description, company background, organizational values, and other easily accessible relevant information before you walk into your interview. 

Now that you’ve done your research, here are some examples of thoughtful questions you can ask in an interview:

1. How would you describe the training process for this role? This is a great way to learn about what your life might look like during your first weeks or months on the job. While some companies offer highly-structured new-hire training, others might assign you a mentor or simply expect you to hit the ground running. You can set yourself up for success by knowing what to expect during the training process.

2. What elements of your company’s culture set it apart from its competitors? This question will help you determine whether or not the company is a good fit for you. Organizational culture can be difficult to accurately observe from the outside, so it can be helpful to hear about your interviewer’s personal experience at the firm. If you receive multiple offers, this might be an important factor in your decision. 

3. In my research, I saw that diversity is one of this company’s core values. How do you feel that the company’s leadership and initiatives reflect that? This question can be about any of the company values that really resonate with you. It’s easy for a company to say that they care about diversity, ethics, or employee wellbeing, but what really matters is how they actually implement those values. Again, this is a way for you to assess the company’s culture and see if it is a good fit for you.

4. How will I know if I am successful in this role? Will I receive candid and constructive feedback? This question demonstrates your growth mindset and motivation to succeed. It can also help you learn more about how your potential employer defines and measures success. This knowledge will be critical if you aspire to move up within the firm. 

5. What is the next step in the recruiting process? May I reach out to you if I think of any other questions? This makes it clear that you are interest in moving forward in the recruiting process. It can be stressful to spend weeks staring at your inbox, so be sure to inquire about the timeline for the remaining interviews rounds or hiring decision. Don’t forget to request your interviewer’s contact information so you can send them a follow-up email!

I know that interviews can be stressful, but remember - if an employer is taking the time to interview you, it means that you are qualified for the job. They want to get to know you! 

Be prepared, be confident, and be yourself. Good luck!

Jocelyn Yeung is a Finance major at the University of Houston - Victoria (Class of December 2019). Jocelyn is passionate about diversity, education, and innovation, and she aspires to become a strategy consultant and future business leader!

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