When you're in the final stages of your interview, your potential employer will generally ask you if you have any questions for him. Preparing several questions for the employer demonstrates your analytical skills and reinforces to the employer that you're very invested and interested in the process. Several specific questions for the employer can help highlight your strengths and skills, and also help you determine whether the job really is right for you. Remember, an interview's a two-way street.
What Are the Skills Needed?
Ask the employer what abilities or skills he deems critical to experiencing success in the specific job position for which you're applying. This does two things for you. First, it helps you to know what the employer's looking for in the candidates and, should you be called back for additional interviews, can help you to highlight and focus the interview around any experiences you've had that demonstrate those necessary skills. Second, should you land the job, it can help you to prepare for the position and brush-up on any helpful training.
What Training Do You Provide?
Many organizations and companies offer both in-house and external opportunities for employees to attend training events and build their skills. Asking the employer what, if any, are the opportunities for training helps to show that you want to succeed, wish to advance your career skills and will potentially help to bring additional value and assets to the business.
What's the Position's History?
Quiz the employer about the history of the position. The position is vacant either because it's a new one, thus highlighting where the business wants to go in the next few years, or because the previous person left or was fired, which can help you to figure out the office dynamics and needs. Additionally, if the previous person simply moved on to another position in the office, it can also help you to figure out if there's much room for advancement in the company.
What's the Decision-Making Process?
This simple question will help you to figure out when the hiring process will get wrapped up. Thus, you can generally determine when to expect a "yes" or "no" answer, as well as prepare for the potential of additional interviews if the employer tells you that that's the next step.
What's the Team Like?
How an employer responds to your query about the coworkers you could potentially work with can help you to get a feel about the office environment and team structure. It can also help you to see how the management interacts with the lower levels in the office. Pay attention to the adjectives that the employer uses. For example, the use of negative vocabulary or a focus on things that irritate him can pinpoint a potential micro-manager or a potentially toxic work environment.
- "Entrepreneur"; How to Succeed at Interviews; 2001
- Virginia Tech Careers: Questions to Ask Employers During Interviews
- Guardian Careers; What Questions to Ask at the End of Your Interview; October 2010
- CareerBuilder.com; The Best Questions to Ask in the Interview; Kate Lorenz; October 2009
- Worksmart California; Tips for Success: The Interview; 2009
- TechRepublic; Three Questions You Should Ask an Interviewer; Toni Bowers; March 2009
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