It’s the one part of an interview we always forget to prepare for: “Do you have any questions for us?” We’ve prepared our answers to anything the interviewer might send our way. But then we choke, with nothing to ask in return, making it look as if we’ve done no research about the position, or even the company. Be prepared for that last crucial moment with these questions:
What is the most challenging part of this job?
Asking this question shows that you’re not unrealistic or idealistic about the position at hand and that you are aware that every job comes with challenges, and prepared for those.
What is a day in the life of a fill in position here like?
Asking this question shows that you’re already envisioning working the job. Too many applicants are interview-focused, and all they think about is getting the job, not even considering what it would be like to have it until that first day at the office.
How does someone in this position know they’ve had a successful year?
This instantly removes “slacker” as a possible adjective for you because it shows you want to know how you can most contribute to the company. It shows you think about the big picture, not just the day-to-day, minimum tasks.
What sort of results/outcome is hoped for for the company, from this position?
While not too different from the previous one, this question will give you a more detailed idea of what your supervisor looks for. You’ll find out more about what skills are truly valued at this particular company, for this position.
On average, how long do people remain in this position?
You want to ask this question because, if people tend to leave the position frequently, this could be indicative of a manager who is difficult to work with. Depending on the position, you also don’t want to hear that people stay in it forever because that indicates there is not much room for upward mobility in the company.
What is the work culture like here?
This is the professional way of finding out if people come to work in their jeans, with their dogs and share the occasional office-wide funny YouTube video to boost morale, or if it is a very structured, formal environment.
What do you believe it is like to have you as a supervisor/manager?
Your supervisor or manager directly affects how much you enjoy and thrive at your job more than anyone else, so you may as well ask them what they’re like ahead of time.
Is there anyone who has held this position who has really stood out? Why?
Supervisors love getting this question because it shows that you want to shine at your job. It shows that, this isn’t just where you make your money but to you your job is a big part of your identity and it is important to you to thrive in it.
Do you have any concerns regarding whether or not this job is a match for me that I might address?
Instead of walking out asking yourself a hundred questions of, “Did this come off the right way?” just ask! You might get the chance to clarify an issue that was going to keep you from getting the job!
When might I expect to hear from you, should you decide to move forward with me?
This question is really for yourself so you don’t spend the next week jumping every time your phone rings, wondering if it is the company you interviewed for.
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