5 Out of the Box Interview Questions You Need To Ask

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Business man pointing the text: Any Questions?Your job interview is coming to an end, and you really nailed this one. You’ve built rapport with the interviewer, given strong answers to everything you were asked, and kept cool under pressure. But just when you think it’s in the bag, the interviewer looks at you and asks, “Do you have any questions?”

Sure, you prepared interview questions about the company and position, but the conversation went so smoothly that the interviewer has already answered them. Now what?

Don’t panic, there’s always more to learn about a job opportunity. You’ll just need to think outside of the box. Ask these creative questions to impress the employer and learn more about the job:

What makes your employees engaged at work?

Asking the engagement question will do 2 things: show you how involved the manager is and let the manager know that you want to be challenged at work.

Engagement is a major problem in the workplace, and is most likely one that the interviewer deals with on a daily basis. In 2014, only 31.5 percent of U.S. employees were engaged at work, according to a Gallup survey. Asking about engagement will show the manager that you want to be actively involved in your work.

In addition, just 35 percent of managers are engaged at work. Their disinterest trickles down to their employees, amplifying the engagement problem. You want to work under a leader who inspires and motivates their team. If the interviewer doesn’t really know what engages employees, that’s a red flag.

Do you have any reservations about my ability to handle this position?

This is your last chance to show the employer that you are the right person for the job. If the interviewer does express concerns, respond to them. Explain why you think you could perform the job well in spite of their reservations. Use specific examples of your experience, skills, or anecdotes that illustrate your potential.

At the same time, the answer to this question could bring to light details of the job you didn’t know or potential problems you didn’t consider. For example, the job may require last-minute travel, moving around between offices, or occasional late hours that won’t work with your schedule. Asking this question could help you uncover possible deal-breakers.

How will your organization handle_____?

This is the time to show your knowledge of the business. Ask about a trend, current event, or major problem of the industry. You can demonstrate your understanding of the many different factors that affect the company while learning how it deals with challenges and changes.

If you were the CEO/President, would you change anything about your organization?

This question puts the interviewer on the spot, but it will help you uncover what it’s really like to work for the company. If the interviewer is uncomfortable and says they wouldn’t change anything, it’s not a big deal. Move on to your next question.

But if the interviewer does offer one or two changes they would make, you struck gold. The answers will highlight the main concerns of employees and their major frustrations working for the company. The answers could range from more days off to restructuring management. But  no matter how trivial the answer may seem, it shows what is important and valued by current employees.

What’s your favorite work-related event?

Workplace culture is a big part of any job. Events are only a small piece of the culture puzzle, but they can tell you a lot about the office and the team. From weekly happy hours to scavenger hunts and team building activities, office events show what potential coworkers are interested in and how close-knit the team is. After all the serious interview questions, asking about company events ends the interview on a fun and lighter tone.

When it’s your turn to ask the questions, dig a little deeper. Go beyond the typical interview questions to gain valuable insights, and show the interviewer you have what it takes to perform the job well.

What do you think? What other creative questions should you ask in a job interview?

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Val Matta
Val Matta
Val Matta, Managing Director of CareerShift, co-founded the company in 2005 to help individuals bridge the gap between education and employment.  As a recognized expert in the field, Val is a frequent speaker on career management, networking, and job hunting strategies.  You can connect with her and the CareerShift team on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter.