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How should I go about asking questions in job interviews?

I am a communications and film double major wanting a career in the entertainment industry. #career-choice #jobs #networking #interview


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Evan’s Answer

Hey, Ethan -
There are several general topics of questions you can ask. The most important thing is to be engaged and curious. Companies are hiring a human being, not a set of skills. Bring your best self to the interview.

The first group is basic and factual, the second group demonstrates that you have show interest in their company, the third group demonstrates an ability to be self-reflective :

1. General information questions. How long has this position been open? What are you looking for in candidate? Which health insurance provider do you offer?

2. Research questions. Ask about specific projects the company has completed or is working on (which ones interest you?). Ask the interviewer about a project they enjoyed working on. Ask the interviewer what challenges the company faces.

3. Self-reflection. Ask the interviewer if there is anything about you or your CV that concerns them.

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Helene (Eleni)’s Answer

Some ways to approach this:

-Ask about the hiring timeline for this role. It's useful information for you to know and have an idea of when you'd hear back
-Questions about the company related to the company mission from their website, any facets they touched upon in the interview, etc. This shows you have done your research and are paying close attention to the interview.
-More logistics as to working from home (especially in this COVID-19 age we live in.) This gives you an idea about commute, work hours, etc.
-You can also ask about the impact of COVID-19 on the company
-Areas of growth, especially in production... what do most entry level film production assistants (if that's what you're going into) do after 1-2 years? 5 years?

Hope this all helps!

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John’s Answer

It’s just as important for you to ask questions at the end of a job interview as it is for you to answer them. These questions will help you gain more insight into what working at the company is really like, as well as learn about culture and team dynamics. Company culture is an important factor to consider when you’re choosing a job, and the best way to learn more about it is to ask. Pay attention to both the hiring manager’s answers and the way they speak about the company. Are they reluctant to answer culture questions or are they happy to answer them? Does it seem like they’re speaking genuinely or are they simply repeating a dialogue? These are signs to pay attention to, because actions speak louder than words, especially when it comes to company culture.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Hopefully you’ve done your homework prior to your interview to learn as much as you could about the role, the organization and the culture. More than anything, you should want to learn more about the organization, gain a deeper understanding of particular pain points and pressing issues and appreciate how and where you can make immediate contributions. Still, by getting a response from your questions, you’ll gain more data that will either validate or enhance your understanding and give you a leg up with information that will help you demonstrate how you are the best fit for the role. By asking great questions during the job interview, you will accomplish a couple of things. First, you will help interviewers gain some insight into how you think. Many times, we learn more about people by focusing on how they think rather than what they say. A great way to gain insight into how people think is to pay attention to the kinds of questions they ask. Second, you want to make sure that you use the interview as a time to demonstrate your desire to better understand the organization, learn about its main points and challenges and leave interviewers with confidence that you’ll fit in and make immediate contributions to the team. Only ask specific questions that demonstrate your interest level in the job and the company. Keep any post-interview interactions brief. You had your time during the interview. If you're going to ask others to take time out of their day, make sure that you're not "over-staying your welcome."

QUESTIONS AND TOPICS TO AVOID
There are only a few questions and topics that you should avoid in an interview. Never ask about time off or vacation policy, no matter how important it is to you. Don’t ask about salary or benefits – it’s too soon to be discussing those things and the hiring manager wouldn’t answer those questions anyway. Questions about working from home should also be avoided, unless that’s something that’s part of the job listed on the application. Lastly, avoid asking any questions that can be answered by a simple google search.

FOLLOW-UP AFTER THE INTERVIEW
Final tip: After your interview, you should prepare to follow up with the employer. Doing so reminds the employer of your conversation, shows them you are genuinely interested in the position and gives you the opportunity to bring up points you forgot to mention. A thank you note is so much more than just saying thanks. It's an opportunity to reiterate your interest in the position, show you're genuine appreciation, get clarification on the rest of the interview process, and reaffirm your qualifications. When do you send it? This is the tricky part. Too late and you appear disinterested, too early and you look desperate. To get the desired effect, I suggest sending a thank you note sometime within 24 hours of your interview.

Thank you Dexter for your continued support. Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right. John Frick

Thank You Katherine. “If our hopes of building a better and safer world are to become more than wishful thinking, we will need the engagement of volunteers more than ever.” — Kofi Annan John Frick

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Kim’s Answer

Ethan,

As others have pointed out, it is important to be prepared. The one thing you don't want to do is ask questions that are already answered on the company's website. This makes it look like you did not look at the website!

Remember that this is a time for you to decide if you want to work for them. You may find that it's not a good fit. They are trying to sell themselves to you. You already heard all the good, you need to uncover the "bad." This might be:
1. Why is there a vacancy? That is, was the last person promoted or fired? Or, is this a new position?
2. Will there be overtime? Will there be advanced notice of the overtime so you can arrange for a dog-sitter, or whatever. . .
3. When employees are grumbling in the break room, what is it they are probably grumbling about? (yes, I have asked that!)
4. What does the company offer as far as professional training and development opportunities?

Interviews are always stressful. The interviewer should try to put you at ease. Just do the best you can, and learn from the experience. In fact, I recommend you interview for a job you don't really want before going for an important interview. I call it "the practice interview." It let's you get some of the first-time jitters out of the way!

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Allie’s Answer

Hi Ethan,

You've gotten a lot of great advice here! I think the main take away is do your homework. As a recruiter in an emerging tech field, I never expect a candidate to have the full-picture of who we are and what we do - it's complicated and new! I do hope that candidate's are able to demonstrate that they've taken the time to do some research. So my first piece of advice is to take time to look into the company & role and write down anything you need further clarity on or are curious about.

Secondly, remember that interviews are just as much about YOU deciding if it's the right fit for YOU and YOUR CAREER as it is for the company. What's most important to you? Here is where my opinions may differ from others. Is the ability to work remotely important to you or a deal breaker? Ask about it! Are you looking for a specific salary? Call it out! There is no harm in saying, "This is what I am looking for in my next role, is that in line with your expectations?" The last thing you want to do is waste YOUR time (or the team's); if you have dealbreakers, address them early on. That being said, different people & companies have different opinions on this so do what you're most comfortable with.

Third, LISTEN. We love to see a candidate who comes prepared with questions and has done their research. Just as important, show that you are actively listening to what the interviewer is sharing by asking follow up questions. In other words, be careful about being so focused on your list of questions that you forget to engage in the conversation.

Finally, my favorite question thing to ask a hiring manager (vs the recruiter) is, "who is the best hire you've made and what makes them exceptional?" OR "describe a team you worked on that was truly exceptional, what made them so?" Listen carefully to how they answer. What are they focused on? This will give you an idea of what they will expect of you when you come onboard.

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David’s Answer

Hi Ethan,

Asking good questions starts first with learning as much as you can about the position, researching the position and the company you are interviewing with. Being able to ask questions that show not only your interest in the position, but also your interest in, and knowledge of the company will help you stand out. Above all listen to the question. Interviews ask questions to get you to differentiate yourself, to showcase your strengths. Do be afraid to ask for clarification on questions yo may not understand, by clarifying, you can be certain to understand the point of the question and answer as best you can. The last piece of advice, just be yourself.

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Gloria’s Answer

Hi Ethan,

You have gotten a lot of great advice here. I would tell you to be prepared and be curious.

The 'be prepared' comes before the interview. Look up interview questions. Think about questions that you think may be asked. Practice answer those questions with someone. Think about where you might have challenges. This is usually around lack of experience. Remember that what you did in school is experience. Earning a grade is sometimes harder than earning a paycheck in some cases. Teachers are often looking for perfection. Employers are not. Also, you should have some questions prepared for the person. It will show your interest in the job. The questions will vary and you need to make sure that you are asking a question that they did not already answer. I have asked in an interview - What is a reason that I shouldn't take the job if it is offered? I like to ask about the downside of taking a job. You should attempt that question only if you feel comfortable.

The 'be curious' is about the interview. Even if you don't get the job, it is always great to get an interview. Why? It's practice. Take every interview seriously. Ask the questions that you think that are relevant when they are relevant. Avoid saving all your questions until the end. Others have mentioned making sure that you are having a conversation. Asking questions when they come up is one way to do that.

Good luck with your interviews.
Gloria

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Debra’s Answer

Hi Ethan,
Interviewing can sometimes make you nervous. To combat this feeling, I highly recommend doing lots of research about the company you are interviewing with, learn as much as possible and jot down bullet points that you can later form a conversation with! For instance.... How large is the company? Are they international? What do they do? Are they diversified? Are they private or public? Who is the CEO? Do they have any new patents pending? How many offices do they have? How many employees do they have? What's the latest news?

This is good foundational knowledge to have and you can weave this into your conversation when interviewing. For example, the hiring manager may say "what do you know about us? Well, I was researching your company and was fascinated to learn that you are a global company but still privately held. I was impressed when I read about the patent your company is pursuing in a drone house painter, can you explain the technology to me?

Of course, any questions you ask should be relevant to the job you're applying for and the person you are speaking with. The key is to impress the interviewer with the fact that you've done your homework on the company.

Remember, you are also interviewing the company as much as they are interviewing you. Best of luck!

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Lauren’s Answer

I typically ask a version of the below questions during every interview I have with a manager:
-What’s your management style?
-How would you measure my success in this role?
-How would you provide feedback on my performance?
-How often do you evaluate employee performance? Do you have regular check in’s with your direct reports?
-Do you have a training plan for whoever fills this role? If so, what is it?


Given the world we live in, it might be a good idea to ask about how the company is handling COVID (is everyone working from home, would you have to go in, if you do what safety precautions are they taking etc)

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Gary’s Answer

First, before you even get to the interview, make sure you do all your research on the company. Try to understand the company and person doing the interview. Then, you should inquire about typical tasks so you better understand the day-to-day tasks the job will hold now and in the future. Questions like:

What does a typical day look like for the team?
Are there any particular projects that need to be addressed now?
Are their any particular skills or experiences you are looking for in an ideal candidate?
What are the biggest challenges in this position?
How did this position become available? Was this new role created?
Where do you see this position in a year from now?

One of the biggest things I look for in an interview is can I work with this person? How will they work with my team? Are they trainable.
So first impressions are everything. Dress well and be prepared to show your personality, and do not be afraid if you do not know a answer, but relate to it the best you can with our own personal experiences. Be genuine.

Good luck in your search!







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Nayana’s Answer

Be authentic!

Always be honest and straightforward in all your answers and also admit if you are not sure of any topic/answers. Interviewers value integrity as a highly valued trait and this will go miles in earning you points with the interviewers!

Give real life examples. Interviewers love to hear examples from your work and life and you overcame difficult situations.

Since you wish to join the entertainment industry, showcasing your creativity would go a long way. Whether it is sharing some independent work you have done or previous work projects.

Be Updated. All hiring managers like to hire candidates who are in tune with the market news and trends and the latest industry practices. Take time to read up when you are preparing for your interview.

All the Best for your Job Search!

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Chantal’s Answer

Hi there - I would suggest the following:-
1. research the company - its history - how it started - its timeline - who its leadership team is - company vision/strategy - how many employees they have - their office locations - there case studies and customers
2. reading through job description - try and note down examples of things you have done that are applicable to each listed item or ideas you would have to do them if you havent before
3. think about and note down points of your personal working experience and interactions with customers etc and how that would applicable for the role
4. think about questions you want to ask - about company culture - what day in life looks like - how many people would be on your team - how does the company celebrate success - is there a career path internally to promote self development growth
Hope this helps :)

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Alexandra’s Answer

I am not sure what you mean by "How should I go about asking questions", exactly. But I will say when you are in an interview you want to make sure you are actively listening and making eye contact. When you are asked a question, ensure that you are first answering the question you were asked. If you do not understand the question clearly, be sure to ask for clarity or repeat the question back as you understand it.

After answering the question, if you have a related question, go ahead and ask it then. Otherwise, I typically save my questions for the end of the interview just in case some things are answered during the process.

In my opinion, the first step to asking good questions is making sure that you are listening during the process and analyzing what is being said. It is also good to research the company and the role you are applying for and writing down questions that you might have.

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Alli’s Answer

Hey Ethan,

Great question! Asking questions during an interview can help you get a better idea of if the job is a good fit for you. First, I'd think about what matters most to you. You want this job to be a good fit for you too! Some things to consider:

- What are the expectations of the job? Roles, responsibilities, hours, travel etc.
- What benefits are included with the position? (medical, dental, 401k matching, time off etc)
- What is the company culture like?
- What opportunities are there for mentorship?
- What does career growth look like for employees at this organization?

Hope this helps - best of luck!

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Angela’s Answer

If you mean to prepare the questions for the interviewer at the end of the interview, I would recommend you to ask something you are really interested in, which will make it easier for you to engage in the conversation and come up with follow-up questions.

What questions you should or can ask will depends on the role you are interviewing for. You can always started with:
1. Understand the role
2. Understand the company culture
3. Understand the ongoing/future projects
4. The interviewer's background
5. Why the interviewer likes the company/role
6. The company's strategy

Again, make sure you are really interested in the topic, so you will be able to make the question into a conversation!

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Patrick’s Answer

Questions should be used help you understand the position requirements, the expectations, and the future plans of the company. Do your homework first on the company. Do not ask questions that public knowledge (easily found on the internet). Ask deeper level questions based on what you found on the internet about the company, that will show interest.

You want to know some basic information like, is this a new position or replacing someone?

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Gina’s Answer

I think you will have a lot of questions if you do your research on the company. You'll want to know culture, dynamic, responsibilities, expectations. These are all questions you can ask that are open ended and will let the interviewer elaborate.

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Alex’s Answer

Make sure you come prepared with a list of questions. Typically when interviewing you can ask questions throughout but try not to take over the interview. I find most interviewers always ask the candidate if they have any questions at the end of the interview. By asking thoughtful questions you will show you are interested in the role and engaged.

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Tiffany’s Answer

Hi Ethan,
You are getting a feel for the company as well! I always appreciate when candidates ask questions about the company, especially if it shows that they did their research prior to meeting with an interviewer.

Some questions I would recommend are:
-What role would this particular job solve for the company as a whole?
-What do typical work days look like for the specific department?
-What is the potential for growth at company X?

Hope this helps!:)

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Jo’s Answer

Hi Ethan,

Echoing the advice already given however I wanted to add to it that nowadays a lot of companies are mainly looking at potential and the match with their company culture when recruiting graduates! This means that you don't have to invest time in researching the smartest subject matter question you can ask but rather research on what this company values in culture, what their 2021 overall company goals are and then show the interviewer how you equally value achieving these goals by asking questions about them showing you have done your research!

Hope this helps!


Jo

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Curtis’s Answer

Hi Ethan,

I suggest that you come to the interview with questions you've prepared based on your research prior to the interview. Also don't be afraid to ask questions to help determine if the job will be a good fit for you. Candidates often overlook that the job has to be a good fit for them as much as you have to be a good fit for the job. Ask questions that help you get a feel for the day-day on the job, what's going to be expected of you and how you will be measured to help determine if you will be successful in the role.

Hope this helps and good luck.

Curtis

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Curtis’s Answer

Hi Ethan,

I suggest that you come to the interview with questions you've prepared based on your research prior to the interview. Also don't be afraid to ask questions to help determine if the job will be a good fit for you. Candidates often overlook that the job has to be a good fit for them as much as you have to be a good fit for the job. Ask questions that help you get a feel for the day-day on the job, what's going to be expected of you and how you will be measured to help determine if you will be successful in the role.

Hope this helps and good luck.

Curtis

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Micah’s Answer

Hi Ethan:

In my experience, it's good to research a little about the company you are interviewing for. Who is the CEO? What interesting things have they done? (you can look for news on the company or individuals). How about the person interviewing you? Often times the interview process involves a number of rounds with different people. One of the first questions you can ask is who you'll be meeting with and if they are on a team you would be joining.

I also like to ask "What a day in the life" looks like for people I am interviewing with. This helps me to get a sense of what a workday looks like and I get to know the people I might be working with better.

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Ben’s Answer

Asking questions in interviews is very daunting but I believe it is necessary for a couple reasons:

1. You are interviewing the company too! This is an opportunity to learn more about the culture, the people, the role, and it better understand if it's a fit for you (as much as if you are a fit for it).
2. It is an easy way to show how serious you are about the role (were you prepared, did you do research, etc.) and also how your thought process works.

Lastly, don't be afraid to ask the hard questions!

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Alison’s Answer

Hi Ethan,

Interviews can be stressful experiences, and a lot of people get nervous about them and feel like they don’t know what to do. However, it’s often helpful to think of it as having a conversation. The interviewer will steer things in the direction they want to go. You just listen carefully and discuss yourself/your experiences accurately. With that mindset, think about conversations you’ve had with friends or with professors: sometimes a question comes up naturally in the course of talking. That’s true in interviews, too. If something the interviewer says sparks a question in you, go ahead and ask. If the time doesn’t seem right for whatever reason, make a quick note of your question. Nearly all interviewers will end the interview with a line like “do you have any questions for me?” So, you’ll have the chance to return to your question, or to ask any others you may have thought of.

Now, a quick note on the “do you have any questions for me?” moment, from a person who has conducted more interviews than they can count anymore. Yes, Ethan, yes you have a question for them. Make sure you have at least one. It is possible that you may not think of one during the interview, so do your research beforehand. Research the job and the company, and even your interviewer if you’re able to. Google something like “common [job title] interview questions” if you get stuck. Think of a few questions you’re curious about in the days before your interview happens. That way, when the “do you have any questions” moment arrives, you look prepared and interested instead of bored or careless.

Good luck in your job search!

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