You walk into an interview, and the employer asks you a variety of questions. You jump through every hoop, and nail it, but then you are asked one question that you brush under the rug, and don’t think about: “Do you have any questions for me?” Most people will just answer this with a simple evasion, “nah, can’t think of anything.” But there is a reason that those people didn’t get the job. Luckily for you, I can give you some advice.
One of the more important questions in the interview, and one of your best opportunities to “strut your stuff”, is when you get to ask your own questions. You get to show that you were prepared for this interview (hopefully) and illustrate that you really care about, and are excited by, this job opportunity. But what questions should you be asking?
Well, I can certainly tell you which questions not to be asking. Don’t ask about salary or wages. It comes off as really self-centered, and as if you will be a bad employee once hired, like you’ll only care about making money, not customer satisfaction or being productive. Also don’t be blunt and ask, “So did I get the job?” When they know, they will tell you, don’t worry. Also don’t ask about benefits, or about what the company does at a basic level.
Alright, we know what not to do, let’s go to the next step… what should you be doing? Ask in-depth questions about one of three things: the atmosphere and culture at the company, your job position specifically, and in depth questions about the company’s agenda. What does this look like? Here are some example questions you can ask:
What have past employees in this position done to make them stand out as successful in your memory?
Is this a new position to your company? What is the first project I will be working on in this company?
What do you (the interviewer) enjoy about working for this company?
What sort of management style can I expect in this position?
The kinds of questions you can be asking should never be simple yes or no questions; yes or no questions lead to boredom and awkward silences, but mostly awkward silences. Just remember, this is your last chance in the interview to leave a lasting, and hopefully good, impression. If you did your homework, and came prepared to this interview, then you can aim to impress. Keep in mind, some of the questions you prepared might get answered throughout the course of the interview, so come prepared with 3-5 ready to ask, and see how many you have time for.
Good luck out there!
posted by Richard Thomas, Career Assistant