Asking a great question at the end of an interview is your best chance of making a lasting impression. It shows you are focused, prepared and ready.

When asked, it might be tempting to give a quick “no thank you” and race to the exit, but is that really the actions of a winning candidate?

The truth is most candidates are not even going to ask a question.. Why not? Because they lack the initiative and drive that you possess. This is to your advantage.

But, if you don’t take this opportunity to stand out, you risk blending in with the competition or worse appearing average. And average doesn’t win interviews.

Today, standing out is essential. Your mission is to make the interviewer’s job of choosing you as easy as possible.

How many Questions should you ask?

One or two really good questions is enough and you should follow up on each of them.

But, if you sense that your interview is running short on time, just ask one question. Ideally, your question is going to really engage the interviewer and they will be more than happy to run over time.

The 3 Best Questions to ask

No.1 “What is the most fulfilling part of your work?”

Asking about fulfilment goes beyond what someone likes about their job. It’s much more personal and goes beyond their financial incentive.

Listen carefully to their answer and consider how your follow-up can help you connect with them on a deeper level about the greater purpose that meaningful work gives you.

No. 2 “What are the most important qualities for someone to excel in this position?”

This is a great question because it shows that not only do you care about your performance but you also care about delivering maximum value to the company.

For example, if they reply that creativity is the most important skill they are looking for, you could describe with relevant detail how your creativity has previously created a more positive work environment, increased profits or saved the company money.

Tying your successful outcomes to your own skills is a huge win. If you lack your own examples, consider sharing how you value a work environment where that particular value or skill is encouraged.

No. 3 “How is the company culture encouraged or promoted within the team?”

This question shows you care more deeply than just their expectations of you. That you are looking to become part of their company’s greater movement.

Bonus points if you can add your own insight before asking this question. For example “I have been impressed with ‘the company’s vision and culture of ___________, and I’m curious “How is the company culture encouraged or promoted within the team?”

Following up with a question about team unity or opportunities for professional development shows you care about building stronger bonds and supporting your new team’s continued improvement.

Pro Tips

If you can personalize the question to the company or person interviewing you, you can mould a question even better than those above!

Take a deep dive when researching the company as you prepare for your interview. Read up on their mission, vision, history and where they are going. You will likely come across some interesting information or stories that could make a great conversation piece. Just be sure to avoid any controversial topics..

Avoid any questions that can be answered with a quick Google search or those that focus on minor issues.

Lastly, if this is your first interview in the process, don’t ask about salary or benefits. Save the negotiation until the next stage or after you’ve have been offered a position.

To sum it all up:

  • Never miss an opportunity to add value and build connection with others
  • Focus on sharing how your skills and experience will complement the vision and mission of the company.
  • Always do your research and ask open-ended questions with a personal touch

Next, check out more of our Expert Secrets or search New Opportunities to help take you to the next level.