Essential questions to ask in a job interview
The most memorable candidates are those who ask questions of their interviewers.
When preparing for an interview, make sure you have questions, too. Planning questions demonstrates that you understand the company and want to know more about what you can do for them. The most memorable candidates are those who ask questions of their interviewers. The key is knowing which questions to ask.
I believe your questions fall into 3 categories.
Question Type 1: The Job
The job posting will provide you with a general overview of what to expect from the position, but asking questions will provide you with details from an insider's perspective.
- Is this a new position?
- Can you walk me through a typical day as a(n) [job title]?
- If I were hired for this position, what, if any, training would be required?
- Would I be working with a team? Can you tell me anything about them to help make a smooth transition?
These sample questions, paired with the answers, give you an idea of the actual position and what might need to happen for you to fit with the already existing employee base.
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Question Type 2: The Company
The company you work for is as important, if not more, than the position you would be filling. You'll want to find out who you are working for -- the company, not your immediate supervisor.
- What are the goals and plans for the company?
- What do you (the interviewer) enjoy most about working for this company?
- Does the company offer tuition assistance or reimbursement for continued education?
- If I do a great job will there be opportunity for advancement?
Hopefully, the answers don't throw anyone a curve ball. As employees of relatively high standing with the company, they should be able to answer questions about the workplace without hesitation. If they do hesitate, it might be a red flag indicating poor employee support or a lack of management.
Question Type 3: The Next Steps
After gathering information about what you'll be doing and who you'll be doing it for, make sure you ask about what comes next.
- What is the next step in the hiring process?
- When can I expect to hear back?
- Who is the best person to reach out to if I have additional questions?
You want them to know you are interested without seeming too desperate. The answers should give you some kind of reassurance about the entire process so you aren't sitting in limbo for someone to call you back.
These questions can act as a guideline for your own. While you can ask each of these, make sure the questions reflect what you actually want to know. Read the interview and adjust when necessary to present your interviewer with a memorable candidate.
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