In a previous post we discussed how to prepare for an interview, which included doing your homework on the company by reading anything you can find about them. You want to show your knowledge of the company and hopefully express your excitement about them and the position you are interviewing for. However, in addition to being able to answer the questions that are asked of you during an interview, it is also important to consider the questions you should ask your interviewer.
At some point during the interview, typically at the end when the interviewer has covered all that they need to, he or she will ask if you have any questions. The questions that you have will certainly change from interview to interview, but take the time during your research of the company to prepare insightful and intelligent questions regarding the company and the position. Consider the following questions candidates should ask at an interview:
Questions about the position that you are interviewing for
- Why is the position open? Is it a newly created position or did the last person leave? Why did they leave?
- What is a typical workday like and what are the primary challenges for this position?
- Will evaluations be done? How are they done and how often? How would I get feedback on my performance?
- What would you consider to be a successful employee within this position?
- What is the typical career path for this position?
Questions about the company
- What is the company work culture like?
- How much employee turnover is there?
- What are the company’s plans for future growth?
- What makes your company different from your competitors?
It is nearly impossible to cover everything during an interview and you probably will think of some things later when you leave that you would like to know, but if you prepare you should be able to get a majority of what you need to know answered. However, there are also a couple of questions that you should NOT ask during a first interview.
Be very careful not to ask the interviewer any questions about topics that he or she already covered with you. If you do, they will think you had not been paying attention and that could hurt your chances of being hired. Also, don’t ask about their training program. You want to show confidence in your ability to do the work that you are interviewing for. Any training that they offer should just be an additional benefit to you. And in a first interview, don’t ask what your salary would be or what their benefits package is. Those things are important, but should be brought up in your next interview with them. Don’t project yourself as someone who is just about the money.
Asking questions during an interview not only helps you to decide how well this position fits your career goals, but it will show the interviewer your thoroughness. It is okay for you to screen them like they are you so when your time comes, make sure you have solid questions to ask.
What questions do you recommend asking at an interview?
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