Job Winning Questions to Ask

If you are familiar with how phone interviews (or generally any job/internship interview) work, then you will realise that you are generally given the opportunity for questions to ask at the end of the phone interview. However, often people are unsure of exactly what to ask, yet they know that it is important that they at least ask something reasonable, as it indicates to the employer that they are interested in the job (i.e a good candidate for the job). Well, don't worry you are in the right place. But, the following questions aren't your generic and rather useless sort (you can find plenty of them all over the net e.g. "What do you enjoy about working for the company?"), instead the following questions are designed specifically to set you up to win the job! Just take a look.

"I was wondering what do you personally believe are the important qualities and characteristics are for someone to be successful in [insert name of job role]?"

I think this is possibly one of the best questions you can ask towards the close of your phone interview. Let me explain why.

Firslty, just from putting that question out there, you are showing the phone interviewer that you are serious about this job and you are serious about succeeding. But, the main reason I like this question so much is due to the following process you can undertake.

Everything she or he mentions whether it be personality or skill wise be sure to note down. What you then can do in your follow up thank you email/letter to the phone interview is address every trait mentioned. For example, they mentioned that a successful X would have good leadership skills. Then in the thank you email, you can obviously thank them for their time and for the phone interview, but you have the opportunity to sell yourself further providing experience or qualifications relating to good leadership skills. Therefore, you are showing them that you are hitting all the vital areas of what is required of you to be a successful employee. 

"What are the specific issues or problems that are facing the company [or the department you are aiming to work in], at this current moment in time?"

Again, a question that can possibly lead you on to winning the job placement.

Asking for specific issues and problems (again be ready to note them down) that are facing the department/company, firstly shows that you are taking an avid interest in the company and department as a whole.

But, secondly it offers you the chance to actually solve them. If they mention a problem that you know how to solve and have past experience surrounding such an issue, or even have an informative idea then you are already showing that you can bring 'added value' to the company. You don't need to come up with a solution there and then, you can think about it, create a document write a detailed plan of action of what you would do and how you would go about doing it to solve the issue and attach that document file to the follow up thank you email. An awesome way to make you stand out from other candidates, as already you are showing that you can apply the skills you have learned from previous jobs etc. can be applied to their company -- and you have a lot to offer.

Or on the opposite side ask them about opportunities -- maybe you can benefit them in that way like the above also.

"What is the next stage for me in this recruitment process?"

The wording of this question is what makes it great.

OK. From a glance you are firstly showing that you are interested in the job, you are wanting to see the next stage and get on with it. But if you pay attention to the way the question is worded, in truth you are instead pushing for a committment from the phone interviewer, the committment to pass you on to the next stage of the phone interview.

Hence, if you pay close attention to the answer, it can indicate whether they are willing to give you that commitment, and pass you on to the next stage. For example, if it is assertive e.g. "You will be sent an email in the next 48 hours detailing your face to face job interview" this is a strong indicator that you have actually passed. Instead, if they are answer with something along the lines of "If you are deemed successful, you will be sent an email in the next 48 hours detailing your face to face job interview", then you are still in the balance, it really boils down to the type of phone interviewer they are. Also, probably best to make this particular question your last.

"I understand that [Insert Company Name] carries out [X- related] projects and this involves Y and Z Skills, I was wondering if you could elaborate on this?"

A question that can really set yourself up to sell, sell, sell.

Obviously, from the fact that you have even asked that question, shows that you are interested in the company and job role, evidenced by the fact that you must have committed to research. However, the underlying factor is that through natural conversation with the phone interviewer is that you can drop in relevant qualifications and experience you have relating to Y and Z skills and how this would benefit such a project. This shows you are versatile, and that you have a deeper understanding of the overall contribution to the company, rather than just the job role offered. Primarily, this set up is all about showing that you can add value, that not only do you meet the minimum requirements of this job role, you have more to offer as well. You give your all, and then some.

There is also a book that I highly recommend you at the very least give a quick glance to, '101 Smart Questions to Ask on your Interview'. If you do ask one of the four above questions (well, carry out the strategies) then please do let me know how they go, and if you have any other general remarks on questions to ask at the end of the phone interview, then please leave them in the comments box below.