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insightful interview questions

5 Insightful Interview Questions You Should be Asking

If you have an interview coming up, chances are you’ve spent a decent amount of time preparing answers to typical interview questions. And while it’s essential that you are ready for whatever questions are thrown your way, have you thought about the questions you’ll ask? Inevitably at the end of every interview, your interviewer will ask, “So, what questions do you have for us?” Don’t get caught empty-handed! These are just a few insightful interview questions for candidates to ask at the end of an interview that will leave a great impression.

How could I make an immediate impact in this role?

This is a great question to kick off the last part of your interview. Most importantly, it allows the interviewer to picture you in the role. However, it also gives you a significant hint as to how you can be successful if hired. Listen for key indicators of success; do they expect you to hit benchmarks immediately? Or is there an extensive training period that you need to conquer first?

How does this role interact with other team members and departments?

The answer to this question will be valuable in understanding how you would fit into the greater company puzzle. Depending on the response, you will also gain insight into whether it’s a good fit for you personally. It may be a more independent role with limited interaction with other team members, or it could be highly social with interactions on multiple levels.

What excites you most about working for this company?

This question is strategically worded for the interviewer to answer depending on their interpretation. They may talk about all of the things they love about working there. Or, they may delve into some exciting future projects. Either way, feel free to ask a follow-up question to get the other answer!

How would you describe the company culture here?

Hopefully, you did your due diligence before the interview and gained a basic understanding of the company culture. However, asking an interviewer this question can give you insights you can’t get online! Moreover, they may share some insider information about company get-togethers and office comradery.

What are the next steps in the hiring process?

You will find this question on every list we write because it’s arguably the most important! Asking about the next steps shows your interest in continuing with the process. Additionally, it will give you valuable information about when you can follow up without feeling like a pest.

Hopefully, these five insightful interview questions will help you reach success in your next job interview. And if you’re looking for some great answers to common interview questions, here’s our helpful guide.

modern interview questions

How to Answer 5 Modern Interview Questions

Interviewing has changed significantly over the years. From handshake agreements to video conference interviews from halfway around the world, modernization has changed how we find and hire candidates. As a job seeker, this means that you could always encounter something new during the hiring process. Today, we’re covering five modern interview questions and how you should answer so that you can nail your next interview!

What’s something you could teach me?

In today’s modern workforce, there is a large discrepancy in age and, thus, experience. Baby Boomers have years of industry experience that comes with a wealth of valuable knowledge. Likewise, Millennials and Generation Z grew up in the age of tech, which often comes with its own advantages. To answer this question, focus on a unique value that you have acquired throughout your career or experiences. Try not to make assumptions about what the interviewer knows or doesn’t know right off the bat!

What Podcasts do you like to listen to?

According to 2019 statistics, 51% of Americans have listened to a Podcast. If you are part of that group, you probably have a great answer ready to go! If not, we suggest jumping on board. There are thousands of Podcasts available for consumption on anything from industry news to pop culture. Depending on how formal the interview is, you may want to adjust your answer. Although, you never know if a bond over Bachelor-related Podcasts could be what makes you stand out from the rest of the candidates!

Do you keep up with current events? How do you consume your news?

Of course, you should be keeping up with current events daily, but how you are consuming news can be a bit tricky. We’re going to spoil it for you a bit by saying that social media alone is not an acceptable answer. We encourage you to add industry news to your daily email subscriptions. No matter what your specialty is, there are always new advancements and industry trends of which you want to be aware.

Pro tip: check out our blog to stay up-to-date with industry news and the current state of the labor market!

What’s your go-to karaoke song?

Questions like this bring levity to an interview. There is absolutely no right or wrong answer (as long as the song is appropriate)! The interviewer is merely trying to make you feel more comfortable and turn the interview more conversational. Have fun with your answer (and be prepared to follow through if you get hired and invited to employee karaoke night!)

Why are manhole covers round?

This popular modern interview question comes up in interviews with large companies more frequently than you’d think. You may know the answer (click here to find out!), or you may not. What really matters is the thought process behind your answer. With thought-provoking questions like these, feel free to think out loud so that your interviewer can get a glimpse into your thought process.

Keep these five answers in mind when you head into your next interview. And if you are looking for some more interview advice, check out all of our great interview recourses!

behavioral interview questions

Behavioral Interview Questions You Should Be Asking Candidates

Interviewing candidates can be challenging. Not only is it time-consuming, but there’s a lot of pressure to determine precisely if this person will be the right fit for your position, team, and company as a whole. One of the best ways to do this is via behavioral interview questions. In fact, behavioral interviewing is often considered to be the most effective technique across different levels, organizations, and industries. 

Here is a quick synopsis of behavioral interviewing from SHRM

“Behavioral interviewing focuses on a candidate’s past experiences by asking candidates to provide specific examples of how they have demonstrated certain behaviors, knowledge, skills, and abilities. Answers to behavioral interview questions should provide verifiable, concrete evidence as to how a candidate has dealt with issues in the past. This information often reveals a candidate’s actual level of experience and his or her potential to handle similar situations in your organization.”

So, which behavioral interview questions should you ask to compare candidates and determine their qualifications objectively? Let’s jump right into a few of our favorites here at JSG.

Describe your proudest professional accomplishment. 

This is a great question to kick off a behavioral interview. It allows the candidate to reference something they’re passionate about and get comfortable right off the bat. When listening to their answer, try to pick up on a couple of cues. Do they credit other team members? How significant of an accomplishment was it? Did this accomplishment assist in propelling their career development further?

Tell me about a time you failed. What could you have done to make it better, and how did you move past it? 

Everyone has failed at some point in their career. In fact, your best candidates will have experienced plenty of failures. The difference is that they will have learned and grown from each situation. Avoid candidates who dance around, giving an actual failure. This is not the time for a fluffy answer of “I care too much.” You want a real answer that demonstrates that the candidate is self-aware and capable of learning from and moving on from shortcomings.

Give me an example of a time when you had to work with someone whose personality was different from yours. 

This question can be tricky to answer. You are NOT looking for the candidate to throw a previous coworker under the bus. You should be, however, interested in discovering how they handle conflict in general. Do they address it head-on or look for support from upper management? There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer, but the insights you gain can help you understand how to manage this person best. 

Describe a time when you were juggling a lot of different projects. How did you prioritize? 

The logic behind this question is two-fold. First, you’ll be able to understand what the candidate deems as “a lot of projects.” Secondly, you’ll get an inside peek into their thought process. Everyone gets overwhelmed at times; it’s how we handle it that’s most important.

Behavioral interview questions are a great technique to determine if a candidate is a right fit for the position and your team. If you want to read some of our other go-to interview advice, check out our blog!

How To Determine If A Company Will Be A Good Culture Fit

How To Determine If A Company Will Be A Good Culture Fit

In a candidate-driven job market, it can seem like the world is your oyster when it comes to making a career move. But that doesn’t mean you want to take just any job! You want to find one that is a fit for your skills and experience; you want a job that will allow for continued growth. Something else you want to be on the lookout for? A company and team that will be a good culture fit. Use these three tactics to discover your next step!

Do Your Research

Before you interview, or even before you apply, research the company. Of course, you’ll want to check out their website, but also be sure to browse their various social media accounts. This may give you a peek into what the office is like if they frequently do events outside of work, and a more in-depth demonstration of their mission and values. Last, but certainly not least, LinkedIn is your best friend. Find the company on LinkedIn, click on “see all employees on LinkedIn.” Peruse employee profiles to get an idea of the company culture. A few specific things to look for: how long employees have been at the company, how they describe their job, and if they have recommendations and endorsements from coworkers.

Ask Great Questions

Once you get to the end of your interview and the Hiring Manager asks, “do you have any questions for us?” This is your chance! Use this opportunity to ask a couple of great questions that will give you further insight into the company culture. Here are a few of our favorites:

“What is your favorite thing about working for ABC Company?”

“How will this position interact with other team members and departments?”

“How does ABC Company tie their values into their day-to-day operations?”

Pay Attention To The Little Things

The smallest details can give you a hint as to the culture fit of a company! When you go in for an in-person interview, be aware of your surroundings. What is the general attitude or vibe of the office? Do the current employees seem friendly and welcoming? If you have the opportunity to meet with other team members, be sure to ask the same questions you would ask leadership and more! Don’t be afraid to ask questions about working with the leadership team. This can give you a better understanding of how to be successful if you are to be hired.

strengths & weakness

How To Discuss Your Strengths & Weaknesses In An Interview

“What is your greatest strength? What is your biggest weakness?” These just may be the most dreaded questions throughout interview history. Are you supposed to disguise a strength as a weakness? Should you be brutally honest? Even the most experienced candidates have toiled over these questions! Not to worry, we’re breaking them down, so you don’t have to stress about discussing your strengths & weaknesses.

Be Honest

Honestly is definitely the best policy when it comes to interviewing in general, but especially for these two questions. You do not want to be one of those candidates who over-promises and under-delivers on your strengths. Do not exaggerate in any form or fashion. Likewise, when addressing your weaknesses, never try to disguise a strength as a weakness! Hiring managers see right through this tactic and do not find it impressive in any way.

Keep It Concise

A common mistake when it comes to these questions is rambling. Because they are vulnerable topics, you may feel the need to fill empty space rather than leave your answer lingering. Don’t give in to the temptation! Be confident in your answer, and keep it short. More than likely, your interviewer is taking notes, and a bit of silence is perfectly acceptable.

Focus On The Future

No matter what your strengths and weaknesses are, gear your answer towards the future. Let’s say, for example, that your weakness is getting overwhelmed when juggling a bunch of tasks. Take a brief moment to explain that while this is a struggle for you, you’ve learned that by creating lists and prioritizing ahead of time, you’re able to manage that weakness better.

As for your strengths, be sure to explain how your strength will be particularly helpful to the company you’re interviewing with. If your strength is performance under pressure, try to apply it to something you already know about the company. For example, “throughout my work history, I’ve found that I perform well under pressure. For the Project Management role with ABC Company, that will be particularly helpful when coordinating a team to complete last-minute project deadlines.”

In the end, don’t let this question stress you out too much. It is not intended to trip you up, rather to understand what type of employee you would be and how you would fit in with the rest of the team. Keep your focus on answering thoughtfully, and you’ll be sure to leave a lasting impression on your interviewer.

Interview Questions, Interview Tips. Interview Advice

5 Great Questions To Ask At The End Of Your Interview

Interview Questions, Interview Tips. Interview Advice

Typically, candidates see an interview as a way for the company to assess if they are a fit for an open position. However, have you ever considered that it’s also an opportunity for you, as a candidate, to determine if the company and position are a good fit for your skillset and goals? At the end of your interview, you’ll want to be prepared to ask some great questions. Here are 5 of our favorite questions to ask!

What are the most critical things I can accomplish in this role within the first 30 days?

This question is a great one to start with. Not only does it show your eagerness to jump right in, but it also allows the interviewer to picture you on the team. It’s essential to take note of the answer because it will give you a guideline of what you should focus on if you are offered the job!

What are some of the goals that the company is currently focused on? How can I assist in accomplishing those?

Asking this question during your interview grants you insights into the overall view of the company. You’ll learn what the future looks like, along with the impact that your role makes on the team and the organization as a whole.

What are some of the more challenging aspects of this position?

Interviewers will share the most wonderful things about the company and role. However, what about the not-so-glamorous aspects? Understanding the obstacles you may encounter gives you the opportunity to have a realistic peek into the day-to-day.

What’s your favorite thing about working here?

This is our absolute favorite question! Asking your interviewer their favorite thing about the company is the best thing you can do during your interview. Their answer can provide valuable insights into important facets of the role like company culture and job satisfaction.

What are the next steps in the interview process?

The last question you need to ask during your interview is perhaps the most helpful for you. Once you know the next steps, you can anticipate additional information and create a plan for following up. Be sure to reference the interviewer’s answer in your thank you note! (Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me today. I look forward to hearing from you regarding an onsite interview next week!).

interview feedback

Is it Professional to Offer Advice to Your Interviewer?

interview feedback

Throughout your career, it’s not uncommon to experience dozens of different interviewing processes. After all, the average Baby Boomer holds roughly 12 different jobs throughout their career. And for Millennials, the average worker holds six different positions by the age of 26. As a result, most candidates have experienced a handful of turndowns throughout their job search.

When faced with a turndown, it’s wise to ask for advice from the interviewer or hiring manager on how you can improve in the future. However, what if the shoe is on the other foot? Is it professional to offer advice to an employer you interviewed with when you do not accept the job offer?

Is it professional or appropriate?

As a candidate, you have every right to provide interview feedback to a prospective employer. However, it can be challenging to provide honest feedback after a job interview. It is difficult to offer constructive criticism without worrying about offending someone or possibly even burning a bridge. But how does an employer know there is an issue or speedbump in their interview process if nobody tells them? They may be utterly unaware that part of their process is turning away great candidates, like yourself.

Whether the interviewing process is slow, or they have poor communication, an employer may not know there is an issue if they don’t receive feedback. In today’s tight labor market, employers must streamline their interviewing process and ensure everything goes smoothly. If you offer professional, honest feedback, many employers will be thankful for your input in today’s environment.

How to do it correctly

So, now that you know it is appropriate to provide feedback after an interview, how do you do it professionally? Here are a few tips for delivering your feedback the right way:

Provide feedback in a timely manner

If you want to share your thoughts on how the employer could improve their hiring process, do so promptly. Whether you get the job or not, you must wait for a decision to be made. However, don’t wait for weeks or even a month to give them feedback. Do so shortly after they made a decision. Hiring managers are busy, and to be honest, if you wait too long, they may not remember you or how your interview went. So, if you decide to share your experience, do so shortly after the conclusion of the entire process.

Be precise and clear

With your feedback, be direct and concise. You do not need to sugar coat your thoughts, yet you want to keep your input professional and positive. For example, if you declined a job offer because the employer took too long to decide and you accepted another opportunity, let them know. As long as your feedback is honest, beneficial to the employer, and delivered professionally, you should feel confident in sharing your experience. Never single anyone out or berate the company. Remember, the goal here is to provide advice, not to leave a bad taste in the mouth of a hiring manager.

Overall, delivering feedback to an interviewer is just as tricky as it is for a hiring manager to give to a prospective candidate that failed to receive an offer. But if you genuinely believe that you can share your experience to help an employer improve their process in the future, go for it. If you want to provide feedback but are still uncomfortable with doing so directly to your interviewers, there are sites like Glassdoor that allow you to anonymously share your interview feedback. Just be sure to follow these guidelines, to ensure you deliver your message in an appropriate, professional way!

How To Navigate Tricky Interview Questions

How To Navigate Tricky Interview Questions

How To Navigate Tricky Interview Questions

Sometimes interview questions aim to reveal more than a simple answer. Interviewers might be analyzing your thought process, your confidence in your answer, or even further discussions your answer may spark. Feel free to take time to think before you answer. Hiring managers appreciate a well-thought-out answer with a pause over something rushed. Also, never be afraid to ask for further clarification! The better you understand what is being asked, the better you can answer. Here are a few common interview questions and a few tips on how to answer them.

Tell me about a time…

These behavioral questions are designed to see how you’ve handled situations in the past. Typically, the best way to format your answer is as follows: the issue at hand, how you solved it, and what you learned from the experience.

What’s your biggest weakness?

We beg you, please don’t answer with a strength disguised as a weakness, Michael Scott style: “I work too hard, I care too much, and sometimes I can be too invested in my job.” Instead, give a thoughtful example of something you struggle with and how you’re working to improve it. For example, “It can be hard for me to prioritize multiple projects at once, but I have started keeping a planner and utilizing my calendar to stay on track which helps a lot.”

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

This interview question can stump even the most seasoned candidates. How do you find a balance between showing ambition but not being overeager? Generally, it’s best to speak in broad terms. Reference the type of work you’d like to be doing (ideally aligned with the job you’re currently interviewing for), and the team you most desire to be a part of.

Why are you leaving your current position?

Don’t fall for this trap question! It is NOT an opportunity to bash your current/past employers or boss. The best way to answer this one is by focusing on future growth. Explain that you’re looking for a position that is more challenging or better aligns with your values.

Do you have any questions for us?

Your answer to this question should always be yes. Come in with a couple prepared (you can read our favorites here.) And try to come up with a few during the interview related to your conversation. This is where it comes in handy to take notes during your interview!

where do you see yourself

How To Answer “Where Do You See Yourself in ‘X’ Years?” In An Interview

where do you see yourself

Congratulations, you made it to a job interview! But, you still have to stand out amongst the other interviewees. You must prove you have the skills and experience in order to successfully land the job.

One question you may be asked is, “Where do you see yourself in “X” number of years?” It could be three, five, or even ten years. The reason they ask this question is usually to gauge how ambitious a candidate is; they want to know if you have realistic expectations for the job and their future.

Answers To Avoid During Your Interview

It’s essential to avoid aggressive answers such as “running the place,” or “in your job.” You may feel an answer like this shows you are ambitious and growth-driven, but instead it typically leaves a bad taste in the interviewer’s mouth. The line between confidence and arrogance is a fine one. You don’t want to give an answer that leaves the hiring manager trying to figure out which one you are.

You also want to avoid talking about goals totally unrelated to work. While it may be one of your main ambitions to travel to Greece within the next 5 years, your future employer doesn’t need to hear about it!

The Right Way To Answer

You should instead formulate an answer that conveys your goals and ambitions. When practicing your answer, communicate realistic expectations for growth and how it will benefit both you and the company.

For example, “In 5 years, I hope to have become an expert in my field. Along with a deeper understanding of my industry and specialty, I hope to earn more responsibility and have the opportunity to develop my leadership skills. With the vision of this company, paired with the support of the leadership team, I look forward to seeing myself grow within this position and department.”

leaving your current job

How To Answer, “Why Are You Leaving Your Current Job?” In An Interview

leaving your current job

With so many jobs available today, people all over the country are leaving their current jobs in search of the next step in their career. If this is you, chances are high you will have a job interview in your future. As with anything, practice makes perfect, and job interviews are no different. You will be asked any variety of questions, but, “Why are you leaving your current job?” will be one of the most common. While the question posed is simple, your answer will give great insight into the type of person you are; information the hiring manager craves.

Whatever your reason, it paints a picture of what is important to you, and how you handle tough situations.

Plan Ahead

While there is no guarantee you will be asked this, it’s common enough that you should have an answer prepared. You can answer in several ways, but it should be specific to you. Evaluate your values, career goals, ideal compensation, or company culture. What is most important to you and does your current job accommodate it? If not, you have your answer as to why you would like a new start. Your example should be professional, short, and to the point. And most importantly, you must ensure your answer focuses on the positives rather than the negatives.

For example, if you are ready to move on from your old job because you dislike your boss or manager, outright saying so would be viewed negatively and will raise questions about how well you work with others. Instead, talk about the skills and experience you have acquired and emphasize that you are looking for a new opportunity that will challenge you. This shows that you have a positive outlook versus a pessimistic one and that you’re focusing on your professional growth.

From here, the interviewer may ask you a follow-up question. They could ask why you didn’t pursue this role with your current employer or any other question that is sparked by your answer. Consider this and any other responses you think you may receive as you prepare for your interview. Just be sure you are specific and clear in your reasoning and be prepared to continually guide the conversation towards you being a great fit for the role.

If you’re wanting to find your next position don’t forget to reach out to Johnson Service Group. We are here to help you and our clients find the perfect match when it comes to jobs!