One Question to Find Out if the Job Is for You


An interview is more than just an opportunity to tell a prospective employer how great you are. The conversation should go both ways. The hiring manager is trying to get a good feel for who you are as a person and as an asset to their company, and you should also be learning about the job, the company, the team and whether they are able to meet your needs in this next step in your career. But knowing what questions to ask to really find out whether a job is the right fit for your expectations can be as hard as preparing for the interview itself. Here’s the one question we think you should be sure to ask your interviewer to really get a feel for the job before you accept an offer.

The Question to Ask

We recommend candidates ask “what is a typical day like” to get a really good idea of what a job will be like. This helps open up the conversation between you and an employer about what the responsibilities of the role are, what the schedule will likely be, how the team culture impacts the day-to-day work environment and many other issues that really matter at the end of the day. Even if you don’t know what answer you’re looking for, it’s worth exploring what your interviewer thinks the typical day for someone in this role will be. If it’s clear it’s not for you, now is the time you’ll find out.

Remember, Preparation Is Everything

A well-prepared interviewee is far more likely to land the job than an unprepared one. Arriving on site with a list of questions you are interested in asking the interviewer is one distinct way you can prepare for your conversation. Having questions shows that you are interested, engaged, and not willing to settle for any old job that comes your way. Employers like to see a little discernment in their candidates because it means that they are in demand themselves. Having the opportunity to ask relevant questions can also make all the difference in the success of your interview. They can start more in-depth conversations with a hiring manager and personalize the interaction. Having a list of pre-prepared questions shows your investment in the opportunity, and that you have done your homework when it comes to your interview preparation.

Be Authentic

While having questions for your interviewer is undoubtedly a good idea, try to steer clear of any template or canned questions. You want to sound like you put some thought into the questions you have prepared. This can be done by looking back through the job description or researching a little about the company’s latest projects or news items to help you prepare your list. Also, don’t bother asking questions that you have already been told the answer to earlier in the interview. This shows that you weren’t paying attention, a mark against you particularly in the high-pressure environment of an interview. Impressions are everything in this situation so strive for an intelligent and engaged list of questions that give your interviewer the chance to showcase the opportunity and help you better understand how your skills and expertise meet the needs of the company.

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