Hosted By

Isaiah Hankel
Isaiah Hankel
Chief Executive Officer Cheeky Scientist

Join Isaiah as he explains why it’s so important to ask questions during job interviews and gives a list of questions to ask interviewers

Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode…

  • First, Isaiah discusses why you should always take the opportunity to ask questions during a job interview
  • Next, Isaiah details the types of questions you should ask
  • Finally, Isaiah gives a list of questions to ask interviewers

From This Week’s Show… 

Why You Should Always Ask Questions During A Job Interview

The quality of your candidacy for a position in industry is most clearly reflected in the quality of the questions you ask those interviewing you.

You must seize the opportunity in every interview to turn the tables on the interviewer. You must become the interviewer yourself by asking questions that engage the other person and showcase your professionalism, business acumen, and overall understanding of the role, the company, and industry itself.

Asking questions shows you’ve thought about and are committed to the position at hand. Asking questions also allows you to find out whether the position and company are truly a good fit for you.

The Types Of Questions You Should Ask

The key here is to ask questions that the interviewer can answer—and wants to answer. As with your informational interviews, play the role of the curious and positive journalist.

Don’t interrogate the interviewer. Don’t ask heavy-handed, rationale-based questions (e.g., “why” questions, such as “Why is the company doing this?”), technical questions, behavioral questions, or any question that may require the interviewer to reveal something proprietary.

Instead, ask simple, straightforward “how” questions, “what” questions, and questions about the company’s culture. The company’s responses to these questions will paint a picture of what working for the company would look like for you to make it easier to decide if you would thrive there.

A List Of Questions To Ask Interviewers

As you’ll see, the questions themselves show that you have mentally moved on from academia and understand how industry operates and what is important to a company’s success in industry. When it’s your turn to ask the employer questions during an interview, there are eight topics your questions should focus on, including:

  1. Hierarchy – Who will I be reporting to?
  2. Mergers and Acquisitions – What collaborations are underway?
  3. Restructuring – How is the company being restructured?
  4. Career Trajectory – Where have others in this position gone?
  5. Emerging Markets – Where is the client base expanding?
  6. Sales and Marketing – Which products are creating growth?
  7. New Product/Projects – What new products are coming out?
  8. Corporate Strategy – What are the company’s five-year goals?

There are many other quality questions related to these eight topics you can ask as well. For example, you might ask: “Who is your ideal candidate?” or “What is the biggest challenge you’re facing, and how can I help solve it?” or “Where is this product line going to be in two years?” or “What would I be working on to start?” or “How do you measure success?” 

As I mentioned previously, you should always end each interview by asking a question that prompts the interviewer to discuss any objections they might have to hiring you, such as, “Are there any reasons why you wouldn’t hire me?” By planning your questions in advance and asking them during your interview, you will further establish your credibility as the best candidate for the job.

If you’re ready to start your transition into industry, you can apply to book a free Transition Call with our founder Isaiah Hankel, PhD or one of our Transition Specialists. Apply to book a Transition Call here.

Book a Transition Call
Get Free Job Search Content Weekly