The opportunity to ask questions at the end of an interview is a chance you don’t want to waste. When you reach this part of the interview, you may be ready to stop and catch your breath after trying to impress the person(s) who will decide whether your job search will end or not, but it’s important to not be caught off guard.
While an interview is traditionally viewed as an opportunity for an employer to understand your personality and skills and how they relate to the position, it’s also an opportunity for you to learn more about the company and those with whom you will be working in the future. No matter how much perceived power you think the employer may hold in these stiff situations, a job interview is ultimately a chance for you to check out the position being offered and see if it would be a good fit for you.
That being said, what questions should you ask? Is there anything to avoid? Can I ask questions in the middle of the interview? While there aren’t hard and fast rules to the etiquette of asking your potential employer questions, the following serves as a good jumping-off point. Here are 10 questions that any job hopeful should ask to better understand the opportunity before them and if it’s the right fit for their future.
What is the Next Step in the Interview Process?
This is a simple one, but with the lack of uniform hiring processes, it is always smart to ask this question. Not only will it help outline any timeframes of when you should expect to hear back with a decision to either have another interview or hear a final decision. Further, this shows that you are eager to continue with the process and are ready to prepare yourself for the next stage of the hiring process.
What are the Main Responsibilities of the This Position?
While it might seem crass to ask about the responsibilities of the position when you are already in the interview itself, hearing the responsibilities from the employer’s mouth can often clear up any misunderstandings or give you a better picture of what your role would be within the company. After asking this, expect the conversation to dovetail into more specific day-to-day duties.
What Would My Day-to-day Routine Look Like if I Were in This Position?
Speaking of daily duties, if you still feel unsure about what the position entails, this question is a great way to delve into the nitty-gritty and understand what you would be doing in this role. You can use this question to assess your readiness for tasks and whether you can imagine yourself performing this type of work on a daily basis.
What is the Company Culture like at ____?
This question is still important to ask, even though you may get a general idea of the company culture by checking out its website, social media profiles, and online reviews. You can learn more about the values of the organization and its staff through the interviewer’s response. It might assist you in determining whether your personality and working style fit the company’s culture.
Does the Company Host any Teambuilding Activities?
Teamwork is an essential skill in any position. This question can help show employers that you are comfortable with the social and interpersonal aspects of any job. Further, along with giving a brief snapshot of the company’s culture, it can also give you an idea of whether you’d want to participate in these activities as well.
Are There Opportunities for Career Development?
If professional and career growth is important to you, consider asking this question in your interviews. By doing this, you can discover whether a company provides any additional training, education reimbursement, or other educational options. You can then decide if the new position fits your long-term professional ambitions.
What is the Company’s Training Process Like?
It’s never a bad idea to get a glimpse of what day one on the job will look like. By knowing what to expect, you can be confident and prepared to make a good first impression should you accept the position. Further, it also lets your employer know that having proper training/onboarding is important to you.
As a bonus question, you can also ask, “What advice would you give to new employees?” A bit more casual, but if there are certain aspects of the company culture that overlap with onboarding, this question can help illuminate them and help you start off on the right foot.
What Are You Looking for in a Candidate to Fill This Role?
This question can help you determine whether you think you would be a good fit for the role. If the interviewer lists many of your credentials, you are golden. However, if they list areas that you are lacking in, you can prepare to develop those skills to be successful in that role.
If they do start listing skills, be sure to ask about what hard and soft skills are essential to the role. This will generally prompt the interviewer to go a bit more in-depth as to what skills or abilities they think would emulate a successful applicant.
Do You Have a Process for Giving Feedback to Employees?
Along with the career growth and development question, this will also help you get a temperature check on how the company goes about investing in individuals. Do they have yearly or biannual performance reviews? Will you be in contact with leadership at all? Based on the answer you receive, you will be able to tell how well the company takes care of its employees.
If a company has these processes in place, they likely have managers that care about being visible and providing employees with the knowledge and tips they need to succeed.
Are There Metrics and Goals That My Performance Will Be Evaluated Against?
Understanding how your potential new manager will measure your success is critical to understanding their managerial style as well as the company or team priorities. Assessing metrics and key performance indicators is a useful way to evaluate larger business outcomes. This can be telling of the pace of work you may be expected to achieve.
Final Tips for Asking an Employer Questions in a Job Interview
The worst thing you can say when asked, “So, do you have any questions?” is “No.” No matter if you aced the interview or fumbled it horribly, asking questions shows you are interested and at least respected their time. Plus, even if you do not end up getting the position or think you are a good fit for the role, it serves as good practice for your next interview.
Also, be flexible. Don’t just ask questions in the end if something sticks out to you. Additionally, while it is advisable to have a list of questions ready going into the interview, consider keeping some note paper on hand so that if you do have any questions but don’t want to interrupt the speaker, you can remember to ask them later. Odds are they might end up answering it in the natural flow of conversation.
Lastly, while there are many lists of potential questions to ask employers online, you do not want to appear that you are reading off a list or asking questions just for the sake of asking them. By asking specific questions and encouraging a dialogue with your interviewer, you can ensure that you not only leave a stellar impression but also learn everything there is about the position before taking the next step in your professional career.
Valiant Search is an executive search firm headquartered in Albany, New York that recruits and places attorneys and legal support for law firms and legal departments. We can be reached at (518) 732-7848 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Valiant Search, please visit www.valiantsearch.com.