11 Essential Job Interview Questions Every Candidate Must Ask

job interview questionsYou may have heard the cliché about “a job interview is not an interrogation.” Well, some statements have reached cliché status because they are so true, so often. But to make sure your next interview is a conversation (and not the dreaded interrogation), what essential job interview questions should you ask?

That is exactly the question we posed to members of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC):

What is an important question to ask when interviewing for a position at a company?

Here are their helpful answers…

1. What Opportunities Are There for Me to Advance?

Ask about opportunities to grow. You may be great for the position you are applying for, but if you are looking to advance in the company, you will want to be sure there are opportunities to do so in the future. Does the company often promote within? What support do they offer to those wanting to advance in the company?

Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors

2. What Would My Day-to-Day Responsibilities Be?

Ask the interviewer about what your day-to-day responsibilities will look like. By asking about what you can expect in your typical days and weeks, you’ll get a better idea of what you’ll actually be doing everyday (and not just what is says in the job description). From there, you can determine if this is the right position for you.

Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

3. What Is the First Problem I Would Solve If I Started Tomorrow?

This is one of the best job interview questions because it allows your interviewer to imagine you in the role. Also, it gives you an opportunity to see how your skills would fit in. The company will appreciate your eagerness to learn how your skill set would benefit their endgame. If the described day-to-day sounds over- or underwhelming, it may not be a good fit.

Jeff Pitta, Medicare Plan Finder

4. Do You Have Any Doubts About Me?

Bluntly ask is if there is any doubt in your candidacy for the job. When asked, most interviewers will be surprised and their immediate reaction will provide an honest answer which otherwise would have never been said. This also provides a great opportunity to rebuttal any of these objections and walk out of the room with these answered.

Dalip Jaggi, Devise Interactive

5. What Characteristics Does Someone Need to Succeed Here?

One of the most essential job interview questions I was ever asked: “Describe the work environment and the characteristics or attributes a person needs to succeed at our company.?” This question enables both the employer and the candidate to calibrate whether the company culture is a good fit, and the degree to which shared values and expectations overlap.

Kathryn Lewis, dMASS, Inc.

6. What Is Your Favorite Thing About Working Here?

Interview the person interviewing you to get a good understanding of what they find valuable in the business and daily life at work. Listen closely to see if their answer aligns with your personal values in the workplace. If they struggle to come up with anything meaningful for an answer, this should be a red flag that it might not be the best fit.

Jared Weitz, United Capital Source Inc.

7. How Will My Success Be Measured?

This is helpful for a multitude of reasons. First, it shows the employer you want to focus on what is important to them and reach their benchmarks. Secondly, it gives you insight into the position’s workload and demands. And if the employer can’t answer this question? That may mean the culture is more reactive than you might appreciate.

Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers, P.A.

8. What Pain Points Are You Trying to Alleviate With This Role?

You should be going into a position understanding what their expectations are of you and what exactly are the pain points you are going to be responsible for solving once hired. It may not be worth taking a job whose pain points are impossible or unrealistic for one person to fix. However, if you know going in and can prepare, you succeed.

Matthew Capala, Alphametic

9. How Does Your Company Innovate?

When someone is curious about how a company is innovating, this tells me that they’re looking for ways to add value and broaden mental horizons to the organization. It hints they may be a creative person that comes up with new ideas And by asking this question, they’re curious to see how receptive the organization is to implement new ideas.

Jinny Hyojin Oh, WANDR

10. What Are the Biggest Challenges You’ve Faced?

When interviewing, seek to gain more information about the company’s history. Find out what challenges or crises the business has overcome in the past and you’ll get an idea of how stable they’re likely to be in the future. Additionally, you might be able to leverage your own experience in similar situations to be a more viable hire.

Bryce Welker, The Big 4 Accounting Firms

11. If You Could Change One Thing About the Company, What Would It Be?

This question will help you gauge what isn’t working in the company and what can be improved. The more you know about a company’s shortcomings, the better prepared you’ll be to accept or decline the offer. You need to know what doesn’t work for existing employees because you might encounter the same problems yourself.

Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights



This list of essential job interview questions is provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.




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