Questions to ask during an interview: The things you should know

Questions to ask during an interview: The things you should know

Avatar photo Amy Simpson | September 13, 2021

The very first blog The James Allen Companies posted on August 24, 2015, was about the questions to ask during an interview. Today, we are revisiting the topic, to expand that list of inquiries toward a line of questioning that emphasizes conscientiousness and professional development.

Questions to ask during an interview … continued

What will my responsibilities be? What does a day in this position look like for me?

Let’s be very clear, most jobs require you to complete tasks that are not glamourous and you receive very little credit for them. It’s in the job description and it is expected. By asking about the day-to-day—the little things—it shows you are looking beyond the perks and truly considering what it would be like to work there, down to the smallest detail. 

How do you define success in this business? What metrics do you use to measure that success?

Self-awareness is key to improving at anything we do and, as far as our careers go, understanding key performance indicators and how an employer measures them will be crucial to advancing your potential career mobility. As far as questions to ask during an interview go, this answer should be absolutely clear. Find out what they value, how it can be observed and quantified, and immediately establish initial expectations. 

As an addendum, you might also determine what your interviewer or interviewers believe to be the most challenging aspects of your potential new role. 

What are the values you feel define your business? What are you looking for in a team member that reflects those core values?

When we are developing an inclusive set of questions to ask during an interview, this one touches on culture. It will also require you to do a bit of due diligence and research the company’s culture beforehand. This is where you determine if your personal and professional goals line up with those of the hiring organization. This is where you decide if what they value in an employee and what you expect from an employer are compatible. 

What opportunities will there be for me to learn and grow? What kind of professional development opportunities do you provide?

We want to avoid stagnation when accepting a new position. There should always be opportunities within a company to achieve some level of professional growth. These development programs add to the companies that promote them by increasing the relative contributions of every employee that does the work and shows that those businesses value their teams enough to invest in them.

Looking at my resume, my background, and all the things we have discussed today, is there anything you see that you feel might prevent me from being a good fit within this role or organization?

Of ALL the questions to ask during an interview, this one shows that you are truly invested in a possible change and allows you, as a candidate, to see where you stand, to anticipate what comes next and tie up any proverbial loose ends you might not have covered or the interviewer may have neglected to address. 

At The James Allen Companies, we want every candidate we represent to get the most out of their interview process, to ask and answer the hard questions and position themselves for a positive change.

About the Author

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Amy Simpson
Amy has more than a decade of experience successfully recruiting experienced insurance professionals. Her extensive expertise and network of contacts has allowed her to place highly skilled and nearly impossible to find candidates in underwriting, claims, loss control, sales, premium audit, marketing, human resources, IT and beyond. She loves the challenge of looking for someone who seems impossible to find. Amy is committed to exceeding her clients’ expectations and enjoys helping people to enhance their careers. Amy has two young children, Noah and Jonah, with her husband Marc. They love to travel and look forward to planning their next visit to Disney World.
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