Job interviews are the bane of every job seeker’s existence. After looking for a job, having to constantly review your resume and cover letter, going to a job interview is the most stressful experience of all. But unfortunately, there’s no way around it if you want to get a job.
At the end of every interview – at least a good interview – the interviewer asks you if you have any questions for them. And if you’ve been to enough interviews I am sure that you are all too aware of the awkward silence that can follow this question. No matter how tired you are or if your brain is overwhelmed with all the new information it has absorbed, it’s important to ask some questions.
It is important for two reasons, first of all, these questions will help you make a more informed decision; you don’t want to take on just any job, at least, you don’t want to if you are interested in your career advancement. The second reason you should ask questions is because if your questions are interesting enough then you will be memorable. For hiring managers, there’s nothing more memorable than an interviewee who asked interesting and to the point questions.
Of course, the questions you ask will depend on where the interview takes you, you have to keep them relevant to the conversation, and you have to maintain the same tone. For example, if your interviewer was a serious corporate businessman, don’t ask them if there are any good takeouts in the area. The questions below cover the three main areas you should focus your questions on.
1. What Are the Department’s Goals for This Year?
Many people make the mistake of not taking enough interest in the department they will be working for and that’s a mistake, remember that some companies rely on particular departments so much that they make pretty big demands of them so you should be prepared for that.
Ask the hiring manager if they have any departmental goals and the reasons for them. Did they decide these goals with their team? Do people in the team get a say in these things? Or do the directions come from the boss and the people in the department need to slave away to get the numbers the boss wants?
2. What’s the History of This Position?
Knowing how the position you’re applying for came to be available will help you understand how stable the company is and whether this position you are applying for has a future or not. Remember that many companies open up positions that they have no real use for and they only realize that they’ve made a mistake after they’ve hired someone for the position, so rather than finding yourself in this precarious position ask them about the position’s history.
Ask if there was someone else employed in the position before and how it came to be available. The interviewer will probably be reluctant to tell you why another employee left so don’t pressure them just try to understand more or less what went on.
If it’s a new position, make sure to ask them how the need for this position came about and what they expect to get out of it.
3. What Milestones Do They Expect You to Achieve?
Your new employer will certainly give you some time to adjust to your new position, but before long they are going to expect to see results from you and it’s important to know how realistic their expectations are. Will they expect you to sign your first client during your first month? Or do they realize that it takes time for someone to get used to a new workplace?
Also, it’s important to understand what they consider success in order to see if they are realistic with what they expect you to achieve. If, for example, they expect you to start turning profit in your first trimester then you’ll know that they are demanding and that they expect a lot.
See Also: Top 10 Job Interview Deal Breakers
Make sure that you have some questions ready at the end of the interview because it can help make your decision easier, and also give you more realistic job expectations.
Do you ask questions at the end of interviews? If not why not? Let us know in the comments section.