Any good employer will ask a prospective employee on a job interview if they have anything to ask. If you go to a job interview and don’t get a chance to ask any questions, then don’t even think about taking the job.
Any good company will ask you if you have any questions about the job and it is critical you are ready for this question. For example, you can ask about issues concerning the employee benefit programs or if the company promotes continuing education and assist employees with student financial aid. Remember these types question are more for the HR department and not the job interviewer aka your possible next boss. Rather ask question directly related to job itself, like the responsibilities and issues you are likely to face.
You cannot prepare any questions prior to any interview. Your questions will come from the interview itself. Listen to the hiring manager talk about the job and think of questions to ask. When you get into a conversation and ask questions about the purpose and structure of the job some good things will occur.
For one, you will learn a lot by asking those ‘pain’ type questions rather than sitting there and answering question after question. Also, the hiring manager will have a lot more respect for you and learn more about you. You will probably be hired given that you had the guts to ask the tough questions and try find out about what is not working.
If the hiring manager is not interested in hearing your questions or allow you to ask questions about the job, rather just get up, excuse yourself and leave the interview. If they are not interested in your opinion during the job interview, then how can you expect the company to care about you or your opinions when you are employed on a contract. Leaving an interview is also a very empowering experience to remember and will prove to yourself that you leave at any moment. Remember its your time.
It is very difficult to prepare questions beforehand. Most questions will happen organically but there are some questions that might want to ask and have answered. You might not get the time to ask all your questions, so write down the most important questions before you enter the job interview.
Here are a few questions to ask:
- Who are the internal and external clients of the person in the job positions, and what do they expect from the person in the job position.
- Your best questions will emerge organically from the conversation, but you may want to get the answers to some of the questions on our list, also. You probably won’t have time to ask all of them, so pick your favorites and jot them on your notepad before you leave home to go to the job interview.
- Which items would you expect to see handled and behind you three months from now, after this new person starts — such that you’d be deliriously happy you hired him or her?
- How do you evaluate a person performance? What are the important milestones and yardsticks you use.
- Ask about the composition of the team you will be working in and how the particular role fits into the team and department.
- What part of the job will require the longest or most complicated learning curve? What tools and training will be provide to get over this curve and fit into the role.
- Ask about the goals and objective of the team for the year ahead. Who and when were these goals created, or do they come from higher up in the corporate ladder.
- Ask the hiring manager who his or her boss is and what their job is all about. Ask how their role fits into the topmost goals of the company.
- Ask the hiring manager how he or she would approach you if they had a problem with something I did.
- Ask what is expected of and from you in the first few months at the job.
- Ask how and when employees receive feedback about performance. Is it an annual review, quarterly, or on a continuous basis. Would you rather wait till year end about how you performed and how to improve? How will this impact on your performance review.
- Ask about the other team members on the team. Listen to answer and how the hiring manager talks about the team. Is it with pride, respect, or even affection.
- Ask what qualities a person needs to have to be successful at the job.
- Ask how work is assigned, what are the performance rewards, and how do employees ask for time off. Ask about the management style of your hiring manager and the company in general.
- What are your group’s best and worst working relationships with other groups in the company?
- If I get the job, how do I earn a “gold star” on my performance review? What are the key accomplishments you’d like to see in this role over the next year?
- Always ask about the working hours and what makes up a full days work . I am sure there is always work to be done but you need to know when you can go home at the end of the day. What are the company norms when it comes to working over the weekend, evenings, answering emails, phone calls, and so on.
- What information is shared with the employees (revenues, costs, operating metrics)? Is this an open-book shop, or do you play it closer to the vest? How is information shared? How do I get access to the information I need to be successful in this job?
- Get personal and ask the hiring manager how he or she got into their current position. What is their career story with the company.
- Ask about the company’s stance on social media such as LinkedIn and Twitter. What are the cultural norms of the company when it comes to social media.
- What is the typical career path for a person in the particular job role if they are successful at the position. Are there opportunities for the person to move and transfer jobs within the company.
- Ask about the history of the job position. Is this a new position or was there someone else in this role. If there was previously another person, what happened to this person. If it is a new role, what is the history and story behind the creation of this new job role.
- Ask the hiring manager about the communication processes and how the team communicates. Are there regular staff meetings and what is the format of the meetings. What is your managers preferred communication method? What milestones are used to track an employees progress? What is the preferred method for team members to communicate, email, or face-to-face, or another way?
- What’s the timeline for making a decision on this position? When should I get back in touch with you?
In conclusion, the main thing to remember on any job interview is to enjoy and have fun when you interview with any prospective boss. Ask questions that mean something to you. The interview should be enlightening for both of you.