Job interviews aren’t just a chance for the interviewer to choose the right candidate for the job. It’s also a chance for you to decide if the company and job is right for you. So when you’re given the chance to ask questions at the end of the interview, don’t pass up this golden opportunity to determine if this is the right fit for all involved.
The Value of Asking Questions
If through the course of the preceding interview you’ve determined you are interested in the position, don’t squander the opportunity. Not asking questions might paint you as uninterested in the employer’s eyes, according to a Forbes article. Plus, the article continues, the right questions will show that you’ve done your homework, you're serious about the position, and you’re “savvy enough to take the additional opportunity to sell yourself.”
Top Questions to Ask
Questions that Show Your Interest
Hopefully through body language you’ve shown your interest in the job throughout the interview, but don’t let this last chance pass you by. Ask questions that demonstrate that you want the job, and that you can already picture yourself with it. Monster.com suggests questions like:
• What is the most important thing for me to accomplish once I’m in the job?
• This job sounds like something I’d like to do – do you have any concerns about how the job responsibilities match my experience and qualifications?
• How can I be successful in this position and how will I be judged?
Questions that Show Your Knowledge of Company
By demonstrating that you’ve researched not only the industry, but also this particular company, you show that you are proactive and don’t expect anything to be handed to you. These types of questions are important ones to ask:
• Why did you (expand in this area, close this division, etc.)?
• You’ve accomplished X in the last three years. Where do you believe future improvements will come from?
Questions that Hone In on the Company Culture
Above all, you want to make sure the company is a good fit for you. Before your interview, consider how you work best. Think back on previous jobs – what did you like best about previous supervisors? Do you need a hands-on manager, or do you like to be left alone to do your own thing? Ask these questions to determine if the company culture meshes with you:
• What is your managerial style?
• How receptive are you to employee feedback?
• How would you describe your company culture?
Questions about the Previous Position Holder
Asking about the previous employee will clue you in on whether this is a company that promotes its employees, or if perhaps there is some sort of disconnect between what is expected of employees and what can be realistically accomplished within the job. Ask the interviewer questions along these lines:
• How did this position become available?
• How long was the previous employee in this position?
A job interview is the time for you to assess if you’re a fit at the company, both for your career and the employer. Asking the right questions is the ideal way during your job search for you to gather the information you need to make this all-important decision.