At some point, usually at the conclusion of the interview, you may be asked, “Do you have any questions.”
A common answer to this question is, “No, I think you’ve covered everything very well.
This is the wrong answer!
You have passed up your opportunity to ask some critical questions that may make a the difference as to whether you want to work for this company.
But, what questions are appropriate? Inappropriate?
1. Do not ask questions about “time off.”
It shows you are more interested in the job so much as how you can benefit from working there – benefits.
Timing is key. The first round of interviews is about discovery: finding out about the job and the company, not about the benefits, or raises. Good questions to ask in the first round are about the job content, the company culture, and the future of the company.
“Could you tell me about the benefits?”
Later, as the interview process unfolds, there will be time to ask about the benefits and practical matters. Often the Human Resources department will provide you with a brochure, or packet of information. Obviously, you will need this information to assess a package in the event an offer is made.
“What types of projects would be forthcoming over the next six months?”
This type of question is good – shows an interest in the job and the company.
The interview should be an exchange of information.
What does the company want, and what do you have to offer?
But, also what do they have to offer, and what do you want?
It is important that you express an interest in the company and the work being done, not just “What’s in it for me?”
By asking questions you will demonstrate investigative skills, and that you are particular about the company you work for, and that you are not going to take just any offer that is made.
It is also important to consider whom you are talking to. The Human Resources person is the one likely to know about job descriptions, morale, or the company culture.
The hiring manager, your future boss, is the person to ask about the department and the team, you will be working with—- the challenges of the job.
Questions NOT to ask in the first rounds of interviewing.
Questions about salary, stock options, vacation, holiday schedule, and benefits.
Don’t ask questions that have already been answered in the interview. Don’t “grill” the interviewer – it’s ok to ask about the person’s background, but as an interested party, not an interrogator.
Questions TO ASK in the first rounds of interviewing.
Ask for a copy of the job description. Ask why is this job open.
What qualities are you seeking in the person for this job?
What is the next step? When will you make your selection?
Prepare five or six questions before the interview and take them with you. When the time comes for you to ask questions, make sure you are ready to find out some important information. All in good time!
Don’t miss out on this valuable opportunity!