What SHOULD I ask them?!

Last week we talked about the questions you definitely should not ask during an interview. What did you think? Were there other questions you thought of that probably wouldn’t cast you in a good light during your interview?

Today, we’re going to follow up with that on 10 questions you should ask during an interview. You don’t have to ask all 10, but you can pick from the list and know they are “safe” questions. They are also questions that will provide you with more insight into the company and how it works. Remember, during an interview, you’re interviewing them as much as they’re interviewing you. Use the opportunity to ask questions of them so you can determine if it is really a place where you would like to work and feel like you could grow.  Asking questions during an interview also shows you are involved and WANT to learn more. Never walk out of an interview without asking any questions.  Finally, asking questions gives you the opportunity to reiterate your strengths. Ask your question, listen to their answer, and if the opportunity presents itself, follow up on their answer by indicating something that you can do to help with that. I’ll show you an example below.

1. How do you see your company growing in the next 5 years?
This will give you an idea of where the company is headed. Do they plan to expand to other states? Do they plan to hire 500 more people? Maybe they want to have a more active presence online. Use their response as a springboard to remind them that you enjoy training others or you have a lot of social media experience.

2. What opportunities are provided for professional development?You’ll learn whether there will be conferences to attended or if they participate in regular webinars. It shows that you want to keep learning and developing as a worker.

3. Is there a mentoring system in place here?
Mentoring is an important step in transitioning to a new job. It allows you to make connects and have someone you know you can do to with questions. If they don’t have one, that’s ok. Just explain that you were interested in meeting as many people as you could and, in turn, wanted the opportunity to give back and be a mentor to new people later on.

4. What is the most rewarding aspect of this position?
It’s nice to know you’ll get that warm and fuzzy feeling of accomplishment. Maybe you’ll get to help others reach a financial goal, or learn to read, or research results to a problem that affects many members of your community. It’s also an insight into how satisfied other employees are with their work.

5. What is the most stressful part of this position?
It’s also important to know if there will be a time when everyone is cranky or the workload will get tougher- maybe tax season, for example. You can also use this time to talk about your ability to handle stress and manage your time.

6. What is one word you would use to describe your ideal candidate?
I like using this question when you’re being interviewed by a few people at one time. Write down the words they use, and then give a clear example of how you are all of those things. You also get a better idea of whether you think you’ll fit their expectations and the rest of the personalities of the group.

7. What separates a good candidate from a great candidate?
You could ask this whether you’re being interviewed by one person or many people. Again, no matter what they say will make a candidate stand out, remind them of how you fit the bill.

8. How would you describe this company/business/school’s culture?
You get more insight on how everything flows, how people work, and whether you feel like it would be a good fit for you.

9. Why did YOU decide to join this company?
It gives you insight on the person who is interviewing you, and maybe they can tell you more about how the company was then versus how it is now.

10. What will the rest of the selection process be like?I think it’s always a good idea to ask this just so you know what to expect in the upcoming days/weeks/months. Get an idea of whether they’re interviewing more people, will there be more interviews after this one, and how long they think it will take before the make their decision.

What do you think? What questions have you asked that helped you stand out or really helped you make your decision about whether you wanted to work there? Let us know!

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