Job interviews aren’t meant to be an interrogation, however, many times they feel like they are. They are supposed to be a dialogue. An interview is as much about making sure the company is a fit for you as it is that you are a fit for the company.
When the interviewer finally gets around to asking you if you have any questions and you don’t, it can make a negative impression. Why? Because not asking questions can either signal that you’re not interested enough in the job to ask any questions — or you don’t know enough about the company, or you weren’t paying enough attention in the interview to catch something that needs clarification or more details. None of these scenarios sit well with interviewers and can axe your chance to continue in the hiring process.
Being prepared is key. You should know something about the company and its products or services – checking the company website, and their LinkedIn company page will give you information not only about the company, but also its employees and culture which is helpful to know going into an interview.
I’ve put together a short list of questions and categorized them. Choose six or so to ask at the appropriate time during the interview.
1. How long has this position been open?
2. Is this a new position? If so, why was it created? If not, why did the person who held this position leave?
3. What are the company’s priorities, and what specific results would be expected from me in the first 90 days or so?
4. Did my resume raise any questions I can clarify?
Questions To Ask Headhunters and Recruiters
1. Is this a new position? If not, why is the position open?
2. What happened to the person who previously held this position?
3. How long have you been working on the assignment?
4. What can you tell me about the person(s) who will be interviewing me? What is his or her position, title, management style?
5. Who will make the final hiring decision?
6. After you present my resume, when can I expect to hear from you regarding the status of this position?
Questions To Ask Human Resources
1. Can you please describe the work environment here?
2. How soon do you need to fill this position?
3. In your opinion, what is the most important contribution that this company expects from its employees?
4. Can you please tell me a little bit about the people with whom I’ll be working most closely?
5. I have really enjoyed meeting with you and your team, and I am very interested in the opportunity. I feel my skills and experience would be a good match for this position. What is the next step in your interview process?
Questions To Ask Hiring Managers
1. What are some of the skills and abilities you see as necessary for someone to succeed in this job?
2. What challenges might I encounter if I take on this position?
3. What are your major concerns that need to be immediately addressed in this job?
4. What are the department’s goals, and how do they align with the company’s mission?
5. What do you see as the most important opportunities for improvement in the area I hope to join?
6. What goals or objectives need to be achieved in the next six months?
7. Can you please tell me about the people who will look to me for supervision?
8. What have you liked most about working here?
9. What’s the next step in the selection process?
Additional General Probing Questions
1. Are there formal metrics in place for measuring and rewarding performance over time?
2. After six months in this position, what would you consider to be stellar accomplishments?
3. How much freedom would I have in determining my objectives and deadlines?
4. Do you have any concerns about my ability to do the job and fit in?
5. Is there anything else you need from me to have a complete picture of my qualifications?