Interviewing for a job? Go you!
While you prepare to answer your future employer’s questions, why not turn the tables a bit and ask some questions of your own? Asking thoughtful questions in an interview shows genuine interest, a go-getter spirit, and helps you decide whether or not the company is a good fit for you.
So, what questions should I ask during an interview?
It all depends on what you want to know. Think about your needs – do you need a flexible schedule? Are you intent on moving up in the company? In addition to reflecting your needs and goals, let your questions communicate interest in understanding the position.
Here are some questions that we recommend:
What does a typical day look like?
Get a sense of the day-to-day of the role you’re applying for by asking what a typical day is like. This can get you insight about work communications – like whether they have a morning stand-up or an afternoon check-in. It can give you an idea of structure, whether there’s a daily schedule or perhaps a lack of one.
You can tell a lot about a role (and a company) by how this question is answered – From often over-looked skills and experience to clarity on how they run things.
How do you measure productivity and growth in this position?
It’s important to understand the criteria you’ll be reviewed based on. How will you know whether you’re doing your job correctly? What can you expect from management in terms of feedback? Are there regularly scheduled reviews? Maybe a rubric or checklist that you can reference to get an idea of how you’re performing? When you know what’s expected of you, you can thrive.
This question will let them know that you care about doing well – and that you care about being treated fairly.
Do you offer training or continuing education?
There is nothing wrong with interviewing for a job that you might not qualify for on paper. If your soft skills, your interest, and your work ethic led you to getting this interview, you can always fill in the blanks on the job. That said, you might want to find out how they train employees. This question will give you clarity on their training program.
How about upward mobility? That’s just a fancy term for growing in a company – getting promoted, moving up the ladder. Some companies like to promote from within, so they offer continuing education.
Can you tell me about the team I’d be working with?
A good team can be the difference between a good job and a great one. Ask how many people are on the team, how long they have each been there, what their experience was when they were hired, who reports to whom. Showing interest in teamwork is a big green flag for employers, and it gets you the information you need to see if it’s a team you want to be a part of.
Do you have any other questions for me?
It may seem like a throw-away question, but this one communicates a few important things. First, it displays good conversation skills by seamlessly throwing the ball back to the interviewer. Second, it communicates that you value transparency – that you want to make sure they have all the info they need to make a decision about you.
While the interviewer will do most of the asking, don’t be afraid to ask questions of your own. They need to make an informed decision on who to hire, and you need to make an informed decision on where to work. Take time to think about what you want to ask, use these questions as a jumping-off point, and bring your confidence with you. Good luck!