5 Hard Questions to Ask During Your Interview

Asking questions is an important part of a face-to-face interview, not only to find out more about the company, but also as an approach for building a relationship with people who might be future colleagues (and even your future boss).

Although some questions are easier to ask than others, asking the more difficult questions definitely can help you get to know the company and the people with whom you might be working.

Below are five hard questions that you should ask during your interview:

#1—“How would you describe the company culture?”

The more you know about the culture—and by extension, your potential colleagues—the less likely it is that you’ll regret taking the position.  In addition, asking this question will show your interest about not just the job itself, but also the people who work at the company.

#2—“On what areas should I focus my professional development?”

This question shows that you’re a bold thinker and demonstrates that you’re more than happy to change and improve yourself.  What’s the worst-case scenario?  You discover that there are gaps in your development that are holding you back from this position.  That information will certainly help you during future interviews.

#3—“Are you optimistic about the company’s future?”

This question shows that you care about the future of the company, and it will also help you decide if you want to take the position.  These days, one of the most important considerations for candidates is whether or not a company has a bright future.  People want to work for organizations with vision, potential for growth, and room for advancement.

#4—“Why do clients choose your organization?”

This is another way for you to know more about the organization and its future.  You may get answers that are similar to what you’ve seen on the company website, but you might also receive a completely different answer from the person conducting the interview.

#5—“Is there flexibility related to dress, work hours, vacation schedule, etc.?”

It’s typically not a good idea to ask questions about salary or vacation schedule during the first interview.  However, when you’ve received a formal offer of employment, that’s a different matter altogether.  You have the right to ask any questions, but just remember to do your homework first and approach your questions in an appropriate and professional manner.  Once you miss the chance, it will be difficult for you to bring up a conversation about these items or to make any changes.

Jacqueline Hill, Esq.

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Jacqueline Hill is a partner at Lexacount Search, where she places top senior-level and other legal talent with law firms and corporate legal departments across the United States. She has been writing about careers, lawyers, attorney professional development, and the legal industry for more than a decade. She can be reached at jacqueline.hill@lexacount.com or 215-740-0104, extension 101.

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