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How do you turn the tables during a job interview? Ask clever questions to get noticed for the right reasons! Do what’s expected of you at a job interview and explore these clever questions to ask potential employers.

Ask clever questions during job interview


By Catherine Adenle

As a job seeker, what can you do to get noticed during a job interview? Ask clever questions among other things:

Remember, you must first be prepared to answer employers questions because they will typically provide an opportunity for you too to ask them questions.

During a job interview, you have to remember that the employers aren’t the only one who should ask smart questions. The questions you ask interviewers as an applicant can help to set you aside from the other job seekers. Asking two or three compelling questions can help you to ace an interview, glean significant information about the work and the environment, while you demonstrate a strong interest in the job and the company.

So, prepare to ask clever questions to know if the employers meet some of your basic needs at work and in addition, you want them to remember you after the interview for the clever questions you asked.

Admittedly,  some job interviews often feel like an interrogation. However, an interview is meant to be a fact-finding conversation between a job seeker and a potential employer. It is a two-way street with traffic rules. It involves verbal communication where they ask you, the job seeker, some questions and you answer.

Potential employers mainly want to find out – if you can do the job if you will do the job, if you are better than the other candidates and if you will fit in.

See How to Impress at Different Types of Job Interviews

During or before they finish the interview session, they will usually ask you if you have any questions for them. At this point, turn the tables and ask clever questions. This can not only help you to snag the job or make an impression and build a great rapport, but it can also help you to evaluate if the job is indeed right for you.

Before you ask clever questions of the employers, be sure to consider the culture of the organisation and the composure of the interviewers doing the selecting. Adopt the right tone and convey your questions in a positive manner. It is important that the window of opportunity works for you and not against you.

Since you may be under immense pressure at your interview already, we have done the leg work by providing you with an Infographic list of clever job interview questions that you can ask a potential employer during a job interview.

See Job Interview – 7 Key Things Not to Say

Ask clever questions – some of your clever questions may include one or two of these questions on the Infographic below.

These are 20 smart and compelling questions to ask employers:


Turn the Tables During a Job Interview: Ask Clever Questions


These are the questions:

1. What separates your high performers from the others in the organization?

2. What characteristics have your most successful candidates brought to the organization?

3. For you, what would success look like in the first 3 months performing this role?

4. What are the challenges of the role and how can one overcome them?

5. Where have past successful employees in this position progressed to within the company?

6. How do you motivate and retain your top talent in this and other roles?

7. What would you consider to be the most important aspects of this job?

8. Can you describe your ideal employee for this role?

9. How would you describe a typical week or day in this position?

10. What are the prospects for growth and advancement in this position?
11. What do you like about working here?

12. How do you see the future for anyone in this role?

13. What do you consider to be your organization’s most important assets?

14. What have been the department’s successes in recent years?

15. What would you say are the organization’s strengths and weaknesses compared to its competition?

16. What are the skills and attributes you value most for anyone hired for this position?

17. What are the immediate challenges of the position that need to be addressed in the first month?

18. How does upper management view this role based on the current strategy of the organization?

19. How will responsibilities and performance be measured for this position?

20. What is the company’s policy on providing training to employees so that they can keep up their skills and acquire new ones?

See Job Interview – 7 Key Things Not to Say

NOW WATCH: 7 Smart Questions To Ask At The End Of Job Interviews


When you ask the interviewers two or three of these questions, listen, remember to maintain eye contact and take notes if necessary when they answer. Then, finish off on a positive note.  Rise up from your seat and thank the potential employers for their time and reiterate your interest in the position.

Let’s hear from you. Can you add more clever questions to ask a potential employer below in our comment box?


Catherine Adenle
Founder, Catherine's Career Corner. The career site empowering and inspiring ambitious candidates of all ages and professions to thrive and work smarter on their careers. Gladly helping all career-minded people worldwide to explore their career, manage change and understand how new technologies are changing and enhancing the future of work.
Catherine Adenle
Catherine Adenle

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