To make an optimal first impression on the hiring manager during your job interview, it’s not just about how you answer their questions – you also need to be prepared to ask questions of your own. Asking questions demonstrates that you are enthusiastic and thoroughly vested in pursuing the opportunity; however, the questions must be tailored to learning more about the opportunity and how you will be an asset to the company, as opposed to focusing only on self-serving topics (i.e., time off and other perks.) By posing thoughtful, intelligent questions, you put yourself in the driver’s seat!
A couple things to keep in mind for any interview are:
- Research – Make sure you take an hour and research the company and the person/people you’ll be speaking with.
- Questions – Make sure you have well thought out questions prepared before the interview (we usually recommend 8-10). Try to derive at least a few of the questions from the research you do.
Questions to Ask During Your Interview
- Tell me about the history of growth in your company?
- In the recent history of the company, what have been the biggest advances?
- What special projects would I be working on during my first six months or my first year?
- Tell me about a typical day. (What would I be doing on a daily basis?)
- What are the characteristics of your top people?
- Where do you see your company going in the next five/ten years?
- What are the main qualities you seek in a candidate?
- How do you see me fitting in with your company?
- What does your interview process entail?
- What do you like about working at your company?
- What are the firm’s overall strengths?
- Who are your major competitors, and how do they stack up against you in terms of product, market share, methods of marketing, and strengths and weaknesses?
- How is the department organized? How many people?
- What are the major challenges and objectives currently faced by the department?
- Why is the position open? If new: Why created? If not: Why did the past employee leave?
- Why isn’t the position being filled from within the company?
- What are the key ongoing responsibilities of the position?
- To whom does this position report?
- What new products (markets? ventures?) is the company planning to introduce that will support future growth?
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