Contrary to popular belief, a job interview isn’t a one-way street. In fact, letting an interviewer ask you all the questions without asking a few of your own generally puts you into the discard pile! As your interview wraps up and that all-important question comes up, “So, do you have any questions?” – yes, the one that’s worse than “tell me about yourself” – consider asking a few of these questions to show that you’ve done your research and you’re truly interested in the job.
Question 1: “How would you describe a typical day in this position?”
Why you should ask it: This question is a great jumping off point for other areas of inquiry, giving you the opportunity to get a feel for what you would actually be doing on the job beyond the basic job description. After all, a summary of the job doesn’t necessarily include the day to day tasks and might not tell you who you’re going to be working with, who your supervisor might be, or what your expectations should be for how many hours you might put in for various individual tasks throughout the day.
Question 2: “What are the opportunities for growth and advancement in this position?”
Why you should ask it: Asking about growth indicates that you have your eye on the prize personally but, more importantly for the interviewer, it shows that you won’t just work at the company for a couple of months and then leave for bigger and better things. Talking about growth and advancement indicates that if you’re hired, you’ll be committed to the company.
Question 3: “Why did the person in this role leave? What did they go on to do?”
Why you should ask it: Employee turnover can be indicative of poor management, so it’s an important question to ask for your own benefit. At the same time, it does sound kind of negative – asking about what the past employee in this position did next can help give the impression that you want to know how this company can help employees grow and succeed.
Question 4: “Can you describe the company’s management style? What about the general office culture?”
Why you should ask it: The culture and management of a company can be vital to your happiness and personal success. If it doesn’t mesh with what you want, you’ll probably end up looking for another job fairly immediately. Discussing this aspect of the company with your interviewer shows that you understand the importance of shared interpersonal styles and goals.
Question 5: “How is the success of employees measured? Is there a review process and opportunity to get feedback on performance?”
Why you should ask it: This question shows that you’re not only open to constructive criticism, but you’re actually looking for it. This shows that you’ll be willing to work with your supervisors and team in order to constantly improve.
Question 6: “What are the company’s plans for the next year? The next five years?”
Why you should ask it: This is another question that serves multiple purposes. On one hand, you get to hear about the long-term goals of the company and decide whether or not that’s a mission that you want to be a part of. On the other hand, the interviewer again gets to see that you’re looking at this job as a long-term prospect.
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