We all know the line we’re supposed to work into the “Do you have any questions for us?” section of the interview. Typically, we take a deep breath and ask our interviewer to talk us through a typical day in that particular office so that we can get a idea of the workplace culture.
It’s a great question. But everyone is asking it, pretty much verbatim. Here are five alternative versions that will help distinguish you from your fellow interviewees, and will also be a refreshing way to get the same answers from your interviewer.
1. “What do you feel prepared you most for this job?”
It’s sort of a backwards way in, but you’ll find your interviewer will end up emphasizing the parts of her background that were most useful for acclimating to that particular environment. You’ll get a sense of the size and scope and daily feel of the company from which of her skills were the most appropriate preparation for the job.
2. “What makes this [company] special?”
No matter what kind of company it is, asking how it distinguishes itself from others in the field can be very revealing. If it’s all about hard numbers and results, that will tell you one thing. If it emphasizes personal relationships and loyalty, that’ll tell you something else.
3. “Why are you excited about filling this position?”
This might be the best way of discovering your boss’s goals and whether your vision of the job aligns with their vision of the job, or the particulars of what you’d be doing day to day.
4. “How do your company’s values affect your work on any given day?”
Probably best to do a bit of homework first and have a specific value in mind when you ask this one. One that company has been explicit about in its marketing materials or in the job listing. It’s a good way of showing off your thorough preparations for the interview, and also making sure the company is really doing what they say they care most about.
5. “How would you describe the leadership style here?”
This is probably the best way of finding out if you’re going to be walking into a nest of micromanagers, without the stigma of actually asking that outright. And it’s a great way to see whether your working style will jive with your boss’s working style.
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