You know it’s coming – that moment about three quarters of the way through your interview, when the hiring manager asks:
“So, do you have any questions for me?”
Believe it or not, the worst thing you can say at this point is “No.” Interviewers actually want you to ask questions. In addition to helping them provide more complete information, your questions give potential employers insights about your preparedness, personality and level of interest in their available positions.
Take advantage of this opportunity to shine. Customize this sample list of potential interview questions to showcase your knowledge, position yourself as a leader, demonstrate your interest in the job – and learn critical information to help you make an informed decision:
- Why is this position available? This seemingly innocuous question can provide valuable information about the company’s culture and performance. The position may be vacant because it’s new, because someone was promoted from within (potentially good signs) or because the company is plagued by high turnover.
- How would you describe the ideal candidate? This question is a form of transference, encouraging the hiring manager to imagine you actually performing the job as he is describing it. Listen closely to the skills and characteristics he mentions and point out those that you possess, citing examples.
- How would you describe the company’s culture? Your success in a position isn’t only about performing job duties; it’s also about how well you fit into the environment. Your interviewer is certainly sizing you up for a cultural fit. You should be doing the same of your potential employer. When evaluating the interviewer’s response, consider whether or not the company’s culture is one that will align with your personal values and will likely support your success.
- What are the next steps in this process? Hiring organizations vary greatly in their selection processes. Some have multiple interviews; some require extensive skills and behavioral testing; still others conduct only one or two interviews before making an offer. This question will help you set expectations and remove post-interview anxiety by helping you understand: timelines for making a decision; whether or not additional testing/screening will be required; when the new hire will be brought on board; whom you may hear from and when; when and how you should follow-up, should you not hear from anyone.
Other Potential Questions to Ask Your Interviewer
- Who would be my supervisor?
- Whom will I supervise?
- With whom will I be working most closely?
- What are the current plans for expansion or cutbacks?
- What are the biggest challenges this company faces?
- What do you like most about working for this company? The least?
- What are the most challenging aspects of this position?
- Will I receive any formal training?
- Are there opportunities for advancement within the organization?
As you ask these questions, feel free to jot down a few brief notes; however, you should not let note-taking distract from the conversation. Before you leave, be sure to thank the interviewer for his time and (if applicable) let him know that you’re sincerely interested in the job.
UNITEMP – Committed to Your Job Search Success
UNITEMP is committed to helping you find rewarding employment. With a great team of experienced staffing specialists, we have the resources and experience to match you with the ideal temporary, temp-to-hire or contract opportunity. Contact a Recruiter today or Search Jobs online.
What questions have you asked while in an interview which proved valuable? Ever ask one you wish you hadn’t? Please leave us a comment below.