We’re so used to the traditional form of an interview that many of us have had drilled into our heads the preconception that a job interview is supposed to be all about the recruiter pretty much interrogating you and judging your worth. Maybe the last bit is true, but there’s a lot more to that than just being the one with the answers. At the end of the interview, the time comes when the interviewer asks you if there are any questions you’d like to address.
This is your opportunity to shine. Depending on the nature, the number, the tone, and the content of your questions, you’ll be able to seal an already positive opinion or sway the interview in your favor in case you don’t feel like it worked out spectacularly well. Before you even sit down and shake hands with the interviewer, make sure you have these particular things considered:
- At least two questions prepared;
- Research on the company;
- What you expect to learn from the answer;
- A lack of yes or no questions.
To put it shortly, simply winging a question on the spot will make you seem disinterested and unfocused. Research is good because you can aim your questions to target specific aspects of the company. Your questions should serve their purpose and be informative. Finally, you will want to give the interviewer something to ponder over, so don’t let them find a way out with a simple yes or no.
Therefore, since we already have enough on our plates by trying to sort out the triad of career path choices we need to make, it’s important for us to know that we’re pursuing a job we really want.
#1 What are the specifications and responsibilities of my position?
While interviewers are trying to find out whether you’re fit for the job or not, you’re trying to find out if this is the right fit for you. Ask the recruiter to provide some in-depth explanations regarding the tasks you will be given so you can know just how demanding they are.
#2 How can I perform well in the first three months at work?
This is a question with two edges. On one hand, you’ll be able to find out what it is exactly that the employer deems as performance and what their expectations of you are. When you actually start working, you’ll know what the most valuable aspect to them is. On another hand, you’ll also let them know that you have a long-term partnership and a future in sight.
#3 What are your company’s plans for the future?
Flip the switch. Instead of having them ask why you’d make a good fit, go ahead and indirectly ask them why you should want to work for them. You’ll be able to find out if your position is secure and if the company has serious future intentions.
#4 What is the environment like?
A company’s culture plays a huge part in how comfortable you are at work. What are the tempers of the employers? Is the environment stressful and agitated or is there a lot of peace and quiet?
#5 What difficulties could I meet in the first three months?
Very few recruiters will lay out the negatives of their jobs, which is why you should aim to uncover them yourself. You want to know whether the accommodation challenges will be ones that you’re prepared to overcome.
#6 What do you like most about working here?
With this question, you can tap into the recruiter’s personal side and ask for a subjective opinion. Find out if the workplace is one that can make employees happy.
#7 Where does your company stand next to competitors?
Ask them what they think sets them apart from other companies in the same field. Ask them how confident they are in their own success.
#8 How can I develop by working here?
You want to know if you’ll be able to actually learn something from your job. Through this question, you’ll require the interviewer to seek an answer spawned from personal experience. It’s very likely that whatever they answer, they’ve experienced it firsthand and they can vouch for the proper personal growth in the heart of the company.
#9 How do you reach a conclusion? When will I be able to hear from you?
The first question might be helpful in offering an overall view of the direction of your interview. You should take a moment and analyze it to see if you’ve nailed the aspects the interviewer will enunciate. The second part is tied in with every future employer’s biggest fear, the infamous “Yeah, we’ll call you back.” You can avoid that by straight-up requesting a date and a time.
Amanda Wilks is a Boston University graduate and a part-time writer. She has a great interest in everything related to job-seeking, career-building, and entrepreneurship and loves helping people reach their true potential.