Regardless of whether you’re job hunting or trying to stop living paycheck to paycheck, congratulations on landing an interview.
Ideally, you’ve prepared as nobody has ever prepared before. You’ve planned ahead. You’ve got all of your ducks in a row. There’s no way to trip you up.
But are you ready for the final phase — the “do you have any questions for me?” phase — that comes before you head back home? Be sure to prepare questions you want to ask a potential employer.
Here are the 10 best questions to ask during a job interview.
Is this a new position?
There are a few nuggets of critical information you get from asking if a position is new when you interview.
The answer will tell you if the company is expanding, which suggests it’s in a healthy spot, as well as why they’re investing in a new position.
It will also tell you if you’re replacing someone who was beloved in the company, or if you’re replacing someone who ended up being a disappointment, depending on the response.
What does the day-to-day of the position look like?
You should be able to recite the job post description forward and backward by this point in the process, but that doesn’t mean you’re privy to the nitty-gritty of what the position entails. The benefits of asking about this are at least twofold.
First, it will help you determine whether or not you want the job when the offer comes in. Second, it tells you what to expect so there are no surprises. And you can ask if those responsibilities are likely to change down the road.
What kind of projects will I be working on?
Asking what kind of projects you’ll be working on takes things a step further than simply matching your skills with the skills of the job on paper.
It also gives you more insight into how the skills you bring to the table can be applied. It’s good to know if specific projects sound like a nightmare or a dream.
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What is the main challenge of this position?
When you ask what the primary challenge of a job is, you’re really asking what kind of minefield you’ll need to navigate if you take the position. But you’re doing it with some tact.
Every job has its unique difficulties. It’s better to know what they are upfront and not a few months down the line.
How does the company handle promotions?
A promotion is more than just a way to boost your bank account. It shows how the company values its employees.
If a worker is operating above and beyond what’s asked of them, they should be rewarded. How often does that happen? Can someone work their way up from entry level to management? You can also learn what lands a plum promotion and what doesn’t.
What’s the best way to get/give feedback?
Whether you’re doing well or doing poorly, feedback about your performance will be a focus of any employment. By that same token, teams need to be able to share their feelings with management.
Broaching the subject during your interview shows you’re keen on being part of that dialog — something hiring managers want to hear.
Questions about culture
Getting to know the company culture is entirely subjective, but you’re going to want to get an idea of how your potential colleagues operate.
Are there team-building exercises? Is it collaborative or independent? Are there company events? Traditions? Is there a softball league you can join? What does the team do for lunch? And so on. Make sure you’re joining the right workplace for you.
Who does what?
The last thing you need when you start a new job is confusion over the roles your colleagues and supervisors serve.
At the very least, find out what team you’re joining, whom you’ll be working most closely with, whom you directly report to, and whom, if anyone, you’ll need to collaborate with from other departments.
What does the company want to accomplish this year?
Whomever you interview with will ask you what goals you plan to accomplish over the next year at the company, so it’s only fair you ask them the same thing. This is a great way to find out what your future managers are hoping for.
Ask about the next steps
The final question should focus on what the next steps in the hiring process are so you know what to anticipate. Make sure the person with whom you’re interviewing has everything they need.
Ask if there’s anything you need to clarify or if you left anything unanswered. Be mindful and confident.
Interviews are a give-and-take of information. The right questions can give you a leg up on the competition.
These questions you ask not only help you figure out if you want to be a part of an organization, but they also give the hiring manager better insight into who you could be as an employee.
And if the interviewer can’t or won’t give you straight answers, it could be a sign to move on and find better ways to make more money.
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