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Resource: Featured Articles
The Interview Questions That Could Cost You the Job If Left Unasked
Wednesday, January 23, 2013

We all know that the questions we ask during an interview are just as important as the answers we give. For the interviewer, your questions are actually better understanding on the depth of your research and preparation. Good questions are those that demonstrate your thoughtfulness. Doing this doesn't require days of brainstorming, just a well-composed strategy.

Show the interviewer that you know your stuff by adding the following questions to your interview arsenal along with your own specific questions:

What are the qualities of your most successful employees?
Asking this lets the hiring manager know that you are thinking ahead. You want to show that you have your mindset on long-term success rather the immediate goal of getting the job. Companies like employees who share the same drive for big-picture success. These qualities will vary from company to company. For example: a fast-paced company may want someone who can thrive in a high-pressure environment while another company may want individuals who have demonstrated exemplary communication skills with team members. Pay close attention to the qualities they value and consider whether this place is a good match for you.

How much potential for growth is there for this position?
Ideal candidates and employees are those who are looking for a lasting career rather than just a paycheck. Show the hiring manager that you're looking for a position that will allow you to grow and develop your skills. Expressing this willingness to learn will give the employer more reason to teach you things that will help you advance. If hired, they may be able to connect you with a mentor which is great for career advancement. Mentors can introduce you to other professionals in their network and help you rise in the ranks faster.

What do you like most about working for the company?
The interviewer's answer will shed some useful insight as to whether you will actually enjoy working there should they offer you the job. What they reveal about the company will also give you a good idea on the kind of culture there. Knowing what they company values, how it operates, and what it expects form employees is important for any potential you have for a future there. You may find that the company is a better or worse fit than you initially anticipated.

What is a common misconceptions about the company that you would like to clear up?
It's hard for a company to be represented absolutely accurately. Representing your image to the public is like a game of telephone, somewhere along the line there's going to be some confusion. People may have the idea that a company is either more relaxed or stressful than it really is. The best way to find out for sure is by asking someone who knows firsthand. Perhaps hearing that a company offers free lunches makes you think that it's more laid back but you later find out that employees are expected to work long workdays. The interviewer will provide both perspectives for you to paint a better picture on the truth.