5 Smart Questions to Ask in an English Job Interview

May 15, 2024 | Business Professional English, Job Interviews in English

The lesson was originally published in October 2016. In May 2024, it was updated with a new video lesson and current, relevant content for job interviews in English.

If you’ve ever walked out of a job interview in English and immediately wondered, ‘Did I do enough to stand out?’—today’s lesson is just for you. 

Whether it’s in-person, remote, or somewhere in between, the questions YOU ask at the end of an interview can make or break your chances of landing the job.

In this video, I’ll uncover the power of five smart questions that will not only show your potential employer that you’re highly engaged but also that you’re a thinker, someone who anticipates challenges and thinks strategically about the future. 

Why settle for being just another candidate when you can be the candidate they remember?

Think about it—every question you pose is an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge, your commitment, and your foresight. That’s why, in today’s lesson, we’ll dive deep into what these questions are, why they matter, and exactly how to use them to enhance your professional image in any English job interview.

So, if you’re ready to transform your interview skills and elevate your career prospects, keep watching. These insights could be the key to your next big career move!

5 Smart Questions to Ask in an English Job Interview

Question 1: What qualities or skills do you believe are necessary to be successful in this position? 

Why is this a good question to ask?

You will learn how the company measures success or progress in this particular job.

You’ll also learn about the expectations and some of the primary responsibilities of the position. This can help you be sure that you actually want the job and feel confident in fulfilling the expectations and responsibilities of the role.

Most importantly, it gives you another opportunity to highlight the qualities or skills that connect directly with the job. If you realize you don’t meet all the suggested characteristics, you can discuss how your skill set could compensate for it.

  • Def: to provide something good or useful in place of something; to make someone feel better about something that has failed or been lost or missed

Question 2: What does a typical workday look like in this role? 

Why is this a good question to ask?

This question shows the interviewer your willingness to prepare yourself for the role.

Moreover, you get a chance to learn more about the typical responsibilities associated with the job, as well as any expectations or challenges that were not mentioned in the job description or during the course of the interview.  

However, if the role is hybrid or remote, you could ask, “On in-office days, what does the typical schedule look like?”

OR

“How does the team collaborate when working remotely? Do we have set times for meetings or do we work asynchronously?”

As a follow-up, and if it applies, you could ask “Could you tell me about the team members I’ll be working with?”

The answer will give you specific insight into the personalities you’ll encounter, team dynamics, team expectations, etc. 

As a result, when you start the job, there will be little to no surprises.

 

Question 3: What opportunities are there for job growth, professional development, and progression?

Why is this a good question to ask?

With this question, you’re telling the interviewer that your interest in the role is directly related to your commitment to your career—it’s not short-term. Most interviewers are looking for someone who is committed to a long future within the organization.

The question also demonstrates your willingness to work hard toward that growth. 

At the same time, you can gauge whether a long-term commitment and career with the company are possible. 

If the interviewer mentions opportunities for job growth, you can follow up with questions about existing training plans or whether a professional development stipend is offered. 

  • Def: a set amount of money offered to employees for learning opportunities that lead to skill development.

Question 4: What do you love most about working for this company?

Why is this a good question to ask?

This question helps to create a more personal connection with the interviewer and provides crucial information about the workplace, changing the dynamic of the interview in a positive way, and making the conversation more of a two-sided dialogue. This can make you more memorable as a candidate who fosters a friendly and engaging interaction.

Asking this question gives the interviewer a chance to share personal experiences and insights, which can provide a more intimate and less formal view of the company’s culture and environment. It helps you gauge whether the company’s values and atmosphere are a good match for your own preferences and work style.

Moreover, the answer can reveal a lot about the company’s culture and priorities. Whether the interviewer highlights professional development opportunities, the company’s mission, or the workplace environment, you gain valuable insights that are often not covered in official job descriptions or company presentations.

Everything you learn can help you make an informed decision if you receive a job offer. Understanding what current employees value about the company can help you predict what your own experience might be like and whether it aligns with your career goals and values.

You might also discover a major red flag that you should look for another company.

  • Def: A sign of danger, warning, or high potential for problem

Question 5: Do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for this job?

Why is this a good question to ask?

This question might sound like you’re putting your neck on the line.

  • Def: to do something that you know might fail and spoil other people’s opinion of you

But, it’s great for several reasons:

This question shows your confidence in the skills and qualifications you do have.

It also shows that you realize you might not have all the skills you need, but you’re willing to learn and do what you need to get them.

This signals a hard worker, someone committed to success and open to learning new things.

And finally, it gives you one final opportunity to demonstrate the unique qualities, skills, and strengths you can offer to the company.

If there aren’t any concerns or questions, you can simply wrap up the interview by asking about the next steps and when you can expect to hear from them. 

After you’ve watched the video and reviewed 5 smart questions to ask at the end of your interview, I’d love to hear from you!

  1. What is one question from this list you’d like to ask in a job interview?
  2. Do you have other smart questions to recommend? Share them with me in the comments below.

~ Annemarie

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