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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!

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!).

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.”

Tell Me a Little About Yourself

How to Answer, “Tell Me a Little About Yourself” In An Interview

Tell Me a Little About Yourself

If you find yourself in a job interview in the near future, one of the first questions you will likely be asked is, “Tell me a little bit about yourself.” The purpose of this interview question is to learn more about a candidate, and this question specifically serves as an easy way to begin the conversation. You may be thinking that no one knows you as well as you do, so why do you need advice on how to answer this question correctly? However, consider that there are nuances to answering this question that could make all the difference during an interview.

Balance professional with personal

You want to shoot for a balance. You don’t want to include overly personal or irrelevant details, but you also don’t want to come off as stoic or quiet. It’s okay to talk about a hobby or interest if it shines more light on your personality or the type of person you are. But ultimately, you want to focus on communicating what it would be like to work with you.

If you have landed an interview, chances are high you have the hard skills the company is looking for. They want to know if you would be a good fit for their team and company culture, and while other questions could be asked to assess soft skills, having you talk about yourself puts the ball in your own court. A hiring manager can learn a lot about your work style by understanding a bit more about who you are as a person.

Past, present, and future

If you are still struggling to come up with an answer, you can use the past-present-future format. Your explanation should include where you are currently, with this typically being the job you currently hold or last held. Then explain how you came to be there, and the variables that influenced that. These could include education, hobbies, family, or values. Lastly, close on where you hope to be and cite career goals or objectives. Common examples could include career titles, locations, or a general state of being.

Again, your answer is yours and yours alone. When possible, connect any of your past-present-future examples with the role you are interviewing for. There is no cookie-cutter template that answers this question perfectly as the answer varies from person to person. But whatever your answer, be prepared to deliver it in a concise and relevant manner. Overthinking a question like this is easy. The last thing you want is to ramble through one of the first questions asked. Practice your answer ahead of time and be confident in your ability to communicate who you are.

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!

biggest weakness

How To Answer “What Is Your Biggest Weakness?” In An Interview

biggest weakness

If you find yourself in a job interview, there is a strong chance the hiring manager will ask you this question. Or, at least a similarly phrased question. This inquiry can flood you with all sorts of anxiety and can derail even the best interviews if you’re not prepared. The hiring manager knows that nobody is perfect. So, follow our tips for formulating an answer that will actually benefit you in the long run!

What They Want To Know

While the bulk of the interview will be composed of discussions centered around skills and experiences, understanding someone’s weaknesses offers a different perspective. The hiring manager’s ultimate goal is to understand whether you possess the soft skills needed to join their team. While hard skills like computer programming will be evident from examples of your work, soft skills reveal themselves through interaction. This question should highlight your honesty, self-awareness, and willingness to learn and grow (or lack thereof). These three characteristics will give a good indication of what it will be like to work with this person; information that is critical to the success of a team or business.

How To Answer

In this situation, how you answer is often more important than what you answer. By asking the question, the hiring manager is looking for an honest answer that shows you’re aware of your shortcomings but actively looking to learn from them and improve. Just ensure that the weakness you give is not a critical component of the job you are applying for. You can ensure this by quickly checking the qualifications on a job description. Sticking with the programming example, a prospective programmer shouldn’t answer attention to detail, as this is a pertinent skill.

Instead, referencing your nervousness around public speaking and the actions you’re taking to improve is what the hiring interview is looking for. Awareness and action are still key. Hiring managers are looking for red flags that indicate a lack of these. Any example that follows the steps outlined above should accomplish this.

What Not To Say

All too often, candidates answer by trying to disguise a strength as a weakness. When asked what’s your biggest weakness, NEVER answer with something along the lines of, “I am a perfectionist.” An answer like this can come off as disingenuous or lacking self-awareness.

Nobody is perfect and the hiring manager understands this. They just want to ensure that you approach your shortcomings in a realistic, constructive manner.

Interview Question

How to Talk About A Bad Boss/Employer During an Interview

Interview Question

Talking about a former bad boss/employer can sometimes be a very stressful subject. Because, let’s be honest, we’ve probably all had a terrible boss or poor working experience. And if you get asked about it during a job interview, it can be somewhat of a nightmare that you don’t know how to navigate through. But with these tips, you’ll be able to answer this question with flying colors and not feel like you ruined your chances.

Avoid Giving Information Unless Asked

First things first, if they don’t ask about it in a job interview, don’t put this information out in the open. If you’re able to avoid this conversation altogether, that’s awesome! And obviously, not having to discuss this will help you feel confident instead of nervous about your interview when it’s over.

Make everything as positive as possible

If this conversation does come up in an interview, which it most likely will, being prepared to answer it as positively as you can is necessary. The worst thing you can do is start bad mouthing a former employer or boss. Keeping your answer positive will give the impression that you’re a great person to work with. Even when bad things happen.

Don’t Bring up the Details

Unless they ask you details about why things were bad, try to avoid giving them. If they aren’t inquiring for details, it’s probably not a big deal to them. And if you bring it up without prompting, it may look like you’re not wanting to move forward from the experience and that you hold onto things. Even though, this very well could not be the case.

But if they do inquire more about the experience, make sure to keep things light and simple. You can do this in a few ways. One is explaining the way their management style was and how it just wasn’t a fit for you and your working style. Or if it’s about the company, stating that you were working to move up the ladder, but sadly, they had no opportunities which meant you had to make a change. This still gets across your problems without adding any emotion you may have had that helped you make the decision to move on.

It gives them a sense of who you are. Someone who is level-headed and trying to move forward.

Talk about what you learned

Another way to approach this interview question is by talking about what you learned at your old job and how it will make you an amazing candidate for this position. Twisting it around to again focus on the position you’re applying for today, will again reiterate you’re want to move forward and use the experience you’ve had to make you better, not bitter.

Explain what you’re looking forward to

And lastly, you should tell the interviewers how excited you are to start a new journey. Whether it’s with their company of someone else’s, you know all the things you’ve experienced have been for a reason. And that reason is to move you forward and make you more successful.

If you can make this impression when answering this question, you’ll win over those who are interviewing you. And nailing the interview won’t be a problem at all!

job interview

Job Interview Question: Why Are You Looking For A New Job?

job interview

If you’re currently employed when on the lookout for a new job, know that this question will come up. This interview question is designed to see what kind of person you are and what your intentions are. Are you looking for just money or are you wanting to grow in your career and you just can’t do that at your current company?

There are tons of reasons you could be wanting to leave your current position, but you must approach it the right way in a job interview. This way you put your best foot forward and hopefully land the new position.

Keep it positive

When this question is asked, make sure you remember to always make your answer positive! Even if the reason you’re leaving may not be for the most positive reasons. Regardless of the reason, just don’t walk into the interview and start bad-mouthing your current employer. That is distasteful and won’t make a good first impression on the hiring manager.

Talk about what you’re looking for, not what you don’t have. If you’re looking for a new position because you want something different, explain that. Demonstrate to the interviewers that you want to grow into a management role. Or maybe it’s because you want a better work-life balance. Whatever it is, make sure that you state it proudly and honestly, so they know exactly what you’re looking for.

Be honest

Answering this question honestly is essential to making a good impression. Obviously, spinning it in a positive light is important but if you totally lie about what you’re looking for or why you’re leaving, it will negatively impact your job interview.

If you need more money to support your family, that’s okay to say! They just want this to be a question where they get to know who you are and what you’re looking for. By being honest with them, they can ensure that you’re a good fit for the role and the organization.

Make it about new opportunities

You’re wanting to leave for a new opportunity. By demonstrating that you are looking for new opportunities to grow into your career, you will leave a great first impression from the very beginning of the job interview.  New opportunities help everyone grow and gain great experience in their careers. If your current position or organization just won’t allow you to grow as a professional, that is perfectly acceptable to state in your answer! Employers want a candidate who is willing to come into the organization and start making strides. With this tight job market, employee retention has become essential in the recruitment process.

Don’t let the nerves of this question affect your answer. With these pointers, you will rock it and leave them ready to hand you an offer letter.