Do you think it’s important to prepare questions to ask a potential employer? YES IT IS!

Most interviews will end with a chance for you to ask a few questions. Failure to ask anything may be interpreted as disinterest or a lack of preparation, so it is important to have a few questions ready. Some of your prepared questions may have already been answered during the interview, so always prepare more questions than you actually plan on asking.

An interview between a job seeker and an employer isn’t just to find out if the job seeker is right for the position, but also to find out if the position is right for the job seeker. After all, nobody wants to accept a job that they will end up hating. At the end of every interview comes the inevitable question of “Do you have any questions that you would like to ask me?”

Now that you are the one asking questions, you have the opportunity to find out everything you want to know about the company and its open position. It is always good to ask questions at the end of each interview. It shows that you are interested in finding out more about the role and can help you decide whether or not the job is for you. Additionally, asking the right questions can leave the interviewer with a positive lasting impression. Start out by making the BEST first impression with a strong, effective Resume!

Here are several different questions you could ask a potential employer during your next job interview:

Your Role

You want to find out as much about your role and responsibilities as you can. You obviously read the job description, but something like that doesn’t always paint a full picture of what your daily duties will be. Use these questions to find out more about the position and what the employer expects of you.

  • What do you look for in people who take this role? You want to find out the most important trait or traits the employer wants out of someone who takes this position. Do they value good time management? Punctuality? Perseverance? An outgoing personality? Asking this question is also a great opportunity for you to emphasize how your qualities make you a perfect candidate for this position. For example, if the interviewer talks about how they value someone who can solve problems, you can bring up times when you have helped tackle complicated issues in your previous jobs.
  • What are the most important skills or characteristics needed to succeed in this position? Much like the above question, asking this question will give you a better idea of what the employer wants out of his or her employees. It also gives you a chance to measure your own skills and abilities against the employer’s expectations so that you can evaluate whether or not you would be a good candidate for the position. This question shows that you are interested in achieving success in your job. The interviewer’s answer will reveal the most important skills they are looking for in a candidate and it gives you the chance to confirm your qualifications.
  • What does a typical day look like? The online job description often doesn’t provide the full details of your potential new position. Use this to find out what areas you will be needed the most in and if you will stick to a schedule or be left to do the planning and scheduling yourself. An answer to this question will give you insight into the details of the job and will help you hit the ground running during your first few days once you’ve been offered the position. This is your chance to make sure the job is the right fit for you. However, use your judgment when asking this question. If you are interviewing with the Human Resources Manager of a large company, they may be unfamiliar with all of the daily duties of the position. If you are interviewing with your prospective supervisor, they should be able to provide a detailed response.
  • Is this a new position or are you hiring to replace someone? The answer to this question can be very insightful. A new position often means a company is growing. It can also indicate a role that has not yet been well-defined. If you are interviewing for an existing position, consider asking a follow-up question on why your predecessor left. This will help you discover if the company struggles with employee retention.
  • What are the biggest challenges that someone in this role would face? Not every job is a walk in the park. Some people crack under too much stress and find themselves caving in to pressure. Perhaps you have to deal with angry customers, tight deadlines, or unusual working hours. Asking this question also gives you the opportunity to talk about how you have overcome daunting challenges in your past. If the interviewer glosses over any challenges, they are not being honest with you. Getting a realistic picture of the challenges you may face will help you manage your expectations should you be offered the job.
  • What are the most important milestones that you would like to see someone accomplish in the first few months? This will give you an idea of what your employer would like to see out of you. It will also offer a glimpse of the things to come down the line and provide some insight on how you can potentially contribute to the company’s growth.
  • Can you tell me about the company’s culture? Asking this question shows that you want to be an engaging employee. This is your chance to find out if this is a company where you will fit in and enjoy working—and even when it doesn’t feel like it, that is the most important part of the job search!

Your Future Growth

Even the crummiest of jobs sometimes has a light at the end of the tunnel. In other words, your entry-level job can easily turn into a full-time career. However, not all positions are created equally and you don’t want to take a job that won’t offer you anything in the future aside from a decent paycheck. You want a job that will turn into a lifelong career.

  • Is there room for growth? You want to make sure that you will not be stuck in a dead-end job. Look for something that will allow you to move up the ladder or develop new skills. Find out how much time and effort you must put into your role before you can see real growth and change occur.
  • Are there many performance reviews? How often do they occur? Nothing helps someone grow like a performance review. After all, many people do not realize they are under-performing or doing something wrong until someone points it out to them. Performance reviews give you the chance to know what you are doing well and what you need to improve on. Plus, a good performance review can usually come with the chance of a nice pay raise.
  • Does this position offer continued training or education? Ongoing training and education is something that will help you learn new skills and ultimately become a better and more effective worker. Learning new skills will help you advance in the company and provide you with something that will be attractive to other employers if the situation ever comes down to it.
  • Will this role’s responsibilities change six months from now? You want to know what the job holds for you in the future. If you are an excellent worker, you should expect to assume new duties and responsibilities.
  • Where have the successful workers who were formerly in this position proceed to? If other people in this position have moved onto bigger and better roles at the company, then it is a sure sign that there will be room for growth in your position. Perhaps the role will allow you to become your own manager or gain experience in a different department.

The Team

In the same way a machine is only as strong as its components, a company is only as good as its employees. You would want to know what your potential co-workers are like and what it would be like to work with them.

  • Can you talk a little bit about the people I will be working with? If the role calls for a lot of teamwork, you will want to know as much as you can about the people you might be working with. Even if the role is independent, you should still strive to find out more about the other employees.
  • Who will be the person I directly report to? Your manager will be just as important as your co-workers. In fact, you might be talking to your manager during the interview. This makes it especially important to make a good impression.
  • What other departments will I work with? Chances are that you won’t be working alone. Perhaps your role will overlap with marketing, human resources, sales, administration, or other of the company’s departments. If so, you can mention your prior experience in any of those departments so that you can propose a way you will help them.

The Interviewer

Making a good impression on your interviewer is of utmost importance. Ask them questions about their time and position at the company so that you can not only build rapport but get an idea of what working there is actually like.

  • How long have you been working here? This is a pretty standard question but hearing about their backstory is always interesting to hear. If they have been there for a long time, then you know that the company might have a decent amount of employee retention.
  • What do you like most about working here? You want to make sure that people are happy at this company. Perhaps it offers good pay, benefits, or a fun company culture. If the interviewer is miserable, it’s a clear warning sign. Working in a positive environment is important. Your interviewer should be able to point to several aspects of the job or company that they enjoy. Look for signs that the company will support your professional development, promotes a healthy work/life balance, and will appreciate your hard work.
  • Why are you successful at the company? This question will provide further insight into what the company is like and how you too could possibly succeed if hired. You might find yourself following in their footsteps so you can become successful just like them.

The Final Steps

Now that the interview is coming to a close, you should make sure you end with some strong questions that will leave a good impression.

  • Based on what you have seen, do you have any doubts about my ability to fulfill this role? This will not only show confidence, but will also help the interviewer soothe any lingering doubts that they might have about your performance. At worst, they could provide you with some constructive feedback about your abilities.
  • When can I expect to hear back from you? You certainly don’t want to be kept waiting in the dark about whether or not you landed your position. Most employers will typically get back to you within a week. If you haven’t heard back from them, then it’s likely they aren’t considering you for the job.
  • When does the job start? This will provide some much-needed closure and information. You probably have many interviews with different companies planned and are also waiting to hear back from them. For example, some jobs might not start in another two weeks, leaving you with no income for half a month. You might have bills to pay and therefore might be in a hurry to move to your next position.
  • What is the next step in the hiring process? This should be your last question. Hopefully the answer will give you clues as to whether the company is considering other candidates. Also, by asking this question, you’ve shown the employer that you are interested in pursuing the position and are willing to take the next step. Would you be hired right away or are there more steps? Perhaps you need to take part in a follow-up interview or need to participate in a background check.

These 22 interview questions are by no means the only things that you could possibly ask, but they do provide a good guideline of what to say. Make sure to ask at least three of these questions during each interview. Above all else, stay confident, arrive early, and always be well prepared, and you will have no trouble finding a job.

A few prepared questions to ask a potential employer are essential in any job interview. Since you already got your foot in the door, you have to make sure you seal the deal! Evolution Coaching is here if you need help with interviewing skills or brainstorming other questions to ask a future employer. Check out our Interview Coaching Services! Happy Interviewing!

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