Got Questions? You Should!

October 12th, 2012

At some point, in every job interview, the interviewer should ask you if you have any questions. And you should have some. In fact, you should have – and ask – questions of potential employers throughout the hiring process!

Before the Interview

When you get a call from a hiring manager about coming in for an interview, your first question should be “Whom will I be interviewing with?”

You’ll want to know so you can prepare yourself. You’d have different questions for a hiring manager than for an HR representative. Or for a team of coworkers as opposed to the department head. And, you’ll want to do some research on the interviewers so you can ask them targeted questions.

One question you should always ask: Can you tell me more about the opportunity and why you think my qualifications are a good fit?

Hopefully, the person calling has read your resume and can answer this question. It may be that they’re calling on someone else’s behalf– but if so, they can explain that. If the person can’t really say why they’re interested in interviewing you, then they’re probably just desperate to fill the position.

During the Interview:

The hiring manager will probably ask what your career goals are, but you should ask a similar question: “What are your short- and long-term goals for this position?”

In other words, what do they want the person who takes this position to achieve? Will you be charged with increasing revenue, visibility or sales leads? Improving morale? Cutting costs? You want to find out whether they have a defined purpose for this position.

You should also ask, “Can you tell me why the last person left this job?” They might not tell you, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Show your interest in the job by asking: “Who will I be working with on a daily basis?”

Hopefully, the answer will tell you: where this role fits into the overall structure of the team and the company. Whether you’ll be interacting with people who can help your career. Whether you’ll be working independently or with a large group.

Another good question: “What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the person taking this role?”  You may find out the job was created to address a specific problem or lack. You may discover the boss is often out of the office and can be difficult to reach. An honest employer will tell you what you can expect. If it sounds challenging, you can take the opportunity to say it’s a challenge you’re happy to accept and present some ideas of how you would tackle it.

Finally, don’t hesitate to ask “What is the timeline for filling the position?”

You deserve to know when a decision might be made and what the next steps are.

After the interview:

If the interviewer says it will be a week before you hear back, wait an extra day or two (or even three). Then feel free to send an email or make a call to ask “Have you made a decision?”

Hopefully, the answers to all of your questions will be so good that your final question will be “When can I start?” But if you feel you could use a little help in the interviewing department – or in the job search process – please contact the experts at Synerfac. We’d be happy to help!

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