If you ask for interview advice, you will always hear: “ask questions” as an answer. It shows you are interested. But what are you interested in? Why are you asking questions? Often, you are so nervous and eager to start working that you just ask things for the sake of completing the task. The whole interview is a routine: enter, smile, shake hands, sit straight, hair out of face, answer, ask, follow up and finally (hopefully get the job). What we are quick to forget, is that there is (or should be) a purpose to everything we do during an interview. The interviewer does his job to make sure you are a good fit for his company. You should be looking out for yourself, making sure that you are a good fit. You might counter me, stating that a job is a job. That’s understandable in this economy, but if you are looking for a career, you cannot just settle for “a job.” Asking meaningful questions will help you find out if you’re interviewing for a job or a career. Here are the best questions to ask and a breakdown of why you should.
Is this a new position? If so, why was it created? If not, what kind of expectations do you have for the next employee?
This will accomplish a few things. First, you will find out if the company is expanding and if so that could mean a few things. It shows economic stability. It’s a large commitment for a company to decide to take on new hires. Before you go in, research if the new position is part of larger contract the company signed for a year or more, which will dictate if the position will be around for a while or just a test. The second half of the question should give you a good idea about what your work will be like, day-to-day and lead to more questions about your role. With that idea, you should be able to determine if it’s something you would enjoy doing during 40+ hour weeks for at least a few years.
What do you expect the new hire to accomplish within the first month, 60 and 90 days? Do you expect there to be a learning curb, how long?
This question should solidify your expectations. You will find out if there will be a lot of pressure and multitasking expected. If you’re not a person who can handle that, it’s better to focus your energy in pursuing something else. Basically, can you handle this position or will you be running out cursing after a month of work? Perhaps the company wants to spend a month time training you at first and that’s something you know you need when you start a new role, then congrats, continue in this direction.
What do you enjoy most about working for Company X?
Your Interviewer should be able to name at least one thing. If they are interviewing you, they are likely in a senior position and should have a good reason they have stayed with their company. On the same note, if the person interviewing is rude and short with you and you did not warrant this type of reaction, it might be sign they are not happy with their situation. Interviewing you is just another nuisance they have to do to fulfill their job requirements. Someone who is smiling and welcomes your warm attitude (which you undoubtedly brought with you) will certainly have a thing or two to say about why they love their job. Hopefully their enthusiasm will be contagious and get you excited to work with them.