Find out what kinds of questions to ask, and how they can work for you.
At the end of an interview, employers often ask “Do you have any questions for me?” You are then expected to have a few questions in return. Instead of asking about starting pay or what benefits they offer, take this opportunity to ask meaningful questions that will reflect your interest in the position you’re applying for. It’s your chance to seek answers that will help you decide if the open position is a good fit for you. Consider the following questions as a starting point.
1. What do you like most about working for this company? - This is a great question to ask because you'll get an insider’s perspective. Think about what’s most important to you in a career: teamwork, professional development opportunities, growth, etc. See if any of the answers you receive match your career ideals.
2. What kinds of changes has the company seen in the past few years? - All companies go through changes. In the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations have gone remote, with a slow transition back to in-person. Consider the following:
3. Where do you see this company in 5 years? - It's essential to understand a company's vision, whether it's a startup or established. Ensure you are familiar with its goals and expectations. Is the company looking to take risks and expand, or stay in one location?
4. What kinds of professional development opportunities does your company provide? - This question will show the employer that you’re interested in growing within the company, and possibly taking on other roles as you progress. Some companies provide internal training, while others may have funding set aside for conferences or external learning platforms.
5. What do you think is the most challenging part about this position? - It's essential to know the challenges you may face on the job, and be willing to work to find solutions.
6. What personal and professional traits are you seeking in an ideal candidate? - See if the answer you receive matches your personality and work type. Do you already have the necessary qualities, or are there some you are willing to develop?
7. How will my success be measured, and what kind of performance review can I expect? - Understanding how your manager will give constructive feedback, whether through scheduled reviews or more informal methods, is crucial. Consider if you've discovered a helpful way to discuss your goals and areas of improvement with a past employer, and how new methods might be incorporated.
8. What are my next steps in the application process? - Asking about the next steps will show potential employers that you are interested in the position and believe you’re a good fit. As it can be challenging to connect through phone or email, take this chance to ask in person.
9. Can I clarify anything about my resume or interview answers? - This invites the hiring manager or committee to review your resume one last time before the conclusion of the interview. It also allows them to reflect on the past few minutes with you, and determine if they’d like to know more about something you discussed.
10. I'd like to follow up with you in a few days. Would you prefer a phone call or email? - This creates accountability and will show employers you are serious about the position. They will expect your correspondence, and will more readily have an answer for you if you give them a timeline.
Consider these final key points: