Job Interview

5 Things To Ask In A Job Interview

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“Do you have any questions for me?” This is typically the final question you will be asked in a job interview. Ask the wrong questions and you might look like a bad fit. Ask no questions and you might look indifferent, inexperienced, or uneducated about the position. Asking the right questions – aside from proving yourself to the hiring manager – is one of your best (and last) chances to determine whether the job and company are a good fit for you.

Related: #1 Interview Question You Must Answer Correctly

Here are five questions to get you started:

1. Why is the position vacant?

Jobs open up for a variety of reasons — some positive, some negative. Was the job created because the company is expanding? Was the previous person promoted? Or did he quit or get fired?

The employer’s answer will help you determine whether the job has strong room for growth or a high turnover rate.

2. What is a typical day like for this position?

Most job postings list the position’s responsibilities without saying how much time is allocated to each responsibility. You want to know this information for two reasons.

First, if your typical workday includes spending hours doing something you dislike, you may want to reconsider whether it’s the right job for you.

Second, by discovering which job functions are most important to the employer, you can tailor the remainder of your interview to those areas and include them in your interview follow-up.

3. How would you describe the company culture?

This is one of the single-most important questions to ask. The employer’s response will help you understand what it’s like working there day-to-day, what the company values, how colleagues interact with one another, and so on.

If you’re going to spend the majority of your waking hours on the job, you should make sure the company culture is a good fit.

4. What are the goals of the company over the next five years? How does this position and this department factor into those goals?

This question demonstrates your goal-oriented nature and suggests that you won’t job hop right away.

An informed response will give you insight into the organizational structure and how your position fits into it.

An uninformed response suggests the hiring manager is out of touch with the organization, the organization does a poor job communicating its goals to employees, or the organization is not thinking long-term. None of these are a good sign.

5. Do you like working here?

It’s unlikely the hiring manager will say “No,” but you can still infer a lot from his response.

A moment’s hesitation followed only by, “Uh… yeah… I do” might be a red flag. A smile and explanation of why he likes working there, on the other hand, signifies a more genuine response.

If you interview with multiple employees during your job interview, ask them each similar questions. This is particularly helpful when it comes to the subjective questions (e.g. “How would you describe the company culture?” and “Do you like working here?”).

Doing so will help you paint a more complete picture of the organization, which will help you make the best decision once you’re offered the job.

Your Turn

What are your go-to questions to ask the employer?

Related Posts

7 Interview Questions You Should Never Forget To Ask
How To Answer 7 Of The Most Common Interview Questions
6 Tips For Following Up After A Job Interview

 

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8 comments

  1. A question I like to ask an employer is what he or she considers the single most important characteristic of the person who will be hired for the job. Is it subject matter expertise or past work experience? Is it being a team player and getting along with others? Being dependable or trustworthy? And if they don’t explain their answer, ask a follow-up!

  2. I once asked “Is there anything that might make you think I’m NOT the right person for this position?” They replied that I did not have certain industry knowledge. I replied that, although it is not clear on my resume, I do have that industry knowledge and I articulated how I obtained it. The interviewer then wrote down some notes. I love that question because if there is anything that they have reservations about, you have the opportunity, right then and there, to eliminate those reservations.

  3. I one asked an interviewer what it was that attracted him to the position/company that I was interviewing for, and if what he found there was what he expected. Not sure if that was a good question, but it did help with starting more of a conversational dialogue. I got a lot of good information from that interview.

  4. I think one important question is missing. This one:
    “What is the current situation of the company with regards to potential mergers and acquisitions?”.
    This question may be a delicate one but I think necessary to ask it if you are considering the job seriously on long term.
    Julien | http://www.ajobilove.net/

  5. Good article – thank you. I recently had a phone interview and when the interviewer asked me if I had any questions – I said “yes” maam I do. The first question I asked “What has the company taught you? And, the second question I asked was “How did you come about coming to the company? Bonus – “And, what makes you stay”? The interviewer commented that my questions were good – she said no one had ever asked her these questions (she actually had to think for a moment to answer – which I took as a good sign (for me). I received a second interview! Asking questions of the interviewer is something that, I believe, they have come to expect – and, when they don’t get it – well, like I said I went on to get a second interview……

  6. How will my performance be measured? OR What is the onboarding process like? OR What are your expectations of the chosen candidate in the first 3 months, 6 months, etc…

  7. THIS AREA WAS MY BIGGEST PROBLEM ASKING THE QUESTION FOR SOME REASON I JUST WENT BLANK BECAUSE THEY MANAGER PRETTY MUCH ANSWER MOST OF MY QUESTIONS I HAD IN MIND. THANK FOR THE TIPS!!

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