Landing an interview with a hiring manager isn’t easy, especially with the competitive nature of the job market these days. Now that you have one scheduled, don’t make a job-seekers number one mistake and act as though the hard part is behind you. A job interview is a two-way street. A hiring manager gets the opportunity to meet you and get to know you outside of your resume, and you have the opportunity to ask questions to learn whether the job you are interviewing for is a good fit for you. The absolute worst impression you can make in an interview is to show up unprepared, with no questions to ask. Why? First, you do yourself a disservice by not doing your due diligence to ask the questions that will help you decide if a job is right for you; and second, you may leave a hiring manager with the impression you aren’t an independent thinker, or are not prepared, or are not a good fit for the company, or all of the above.
Ask the questions you need to ask in order to discover if a job, company, and hiring manager are a good fit for you, your career, and your goals. Here are ten questions that can help.
- What are the most enjoyable and the least enjoyable aspects of this position?
This shows you are not afraid of challenges and value being prepared for them. It also draws attention to the fact that you have a realistic view of a job, and that you understand every aspect of a job is not a bed of roses, and you are okay with that.
- You mentioned this role requires [fill in the blank with a job aspect that piqued your interest when the hiring manager mentioned it]. What do your most valued employees do to excel at this aspect of the job?
This is a dual-purpose question which leaves the hiring manager with the impression that you listen well when others speak, and that you are already planning ahead to find ways to be a success.
- What opportunities are available for additional learning and training?
Asking this question highlights your interest in continuing to advance your skills in ways that will add value to an organization.
- What advancement path is open to those in this position?
Not only does this question indicate a determination to progress over the long term, but it will also weed out jobs that may not have a path for growth, which may become dissatisfying to you over time.
- How does this position interact with the overall organizational structure?
With this question you draw attention to your appreciation of teamwork, and demonstrate that you recognize your best work will influence the goals of the entire organization.
- What is the work culture like within this organization?
Not only does this question help you understand if an organization would be a good fit with your values, it indicate to a hiring manger that you value a workplace culture which will help you, not hinder you, in giving your best effort.
- How would my success in this position be assessed and communicated to me?
No one likes to work hard without understanding if they are meeting, or exceeding, expectations. By asking this direct question, you learn whether the way in which your performance is assessed is acceptable to you, and indicate to a hiring manager that you intend to be successful and expect your performance to be assessed and communicated to you.
- What are the most important issues this organization will face in the immediate future?
Not only does this question indicate you are a broad thinker, not stuck in a job-specific silo, but it is also an opportunity to hear the organization’s struggles to get a feel for their stability. If a hiring manager indicates they are struggling to hold on to market share, for example, you might question whether the job you are applying for has the potential for long-term stability, or is headed for layoff instead.
- May I tell you a little more about ?
This is a polite way of redirecting the question and answer portion of the interview back to a frame where you have permission to brag a little more about an aspect of your experience or skill set that you want to be sure to highlight.
- What doubts do you have about my ability to succeed in this position?
By asking what doubts a manager has versus a yes/no question (“Do you have doubts?”), you are sure to get a response that will either indicate the manager has no concerns (good for you!), or there are doubts which might prevent the manager from making an offer. If the manager shares any doubts, this gives you an opportunity to hear them in a setting where you still have a chance to counter those doubts by speaking to them specifically, and perhaps even be able to dispel those doubts while you’re still in the interview.
By asking these questions or variations of them, you will present yourself as a prepared, engaging interviewee, and you will open the door to learn whether a job is a good fit for you.
Robert Moment is an interview coach,speaker and author of Interview Tips:Proven Job Interview Tips, Interview Questions and Interview Skills to Get Hired in Job Interviews for the Job You Want.. Robert specializes in how to interview tips and skills, helping professionals maximize their knowledge, skills and abilities to get hired,promoted and paid more in job interview opportunities. Robert tell professionals why they aren’t getting hired for jobs and teach them, how to get hired, how to sell themselves , stand out from the competition and negotiate the best salary for themselves.