You have already selected the perfectly polished interview outfit. You have done tons of research to ensure that you’re informed about the company. You have even rehearsed answers for all sorts of commonly asked interview questions.
But don’t forget to prepare for the part of the interview where the hiring manager concludes the interview by asking, “So, what questions do you have for me?” You have spent all your energy preparing for the questions you’ll be asked, that you completely forgot to come up with some intelligent questions that you can pose to the interviewer.
Well, we have you covered! Here are six questions you should be asking at every job interview. Not only will you appear informed, and completely put together, but they’ll also save you from that terrifying, wide-eyed moment of panic.
What does a typical day look like in this position? After reading the job description, you should already have the basic information but remember that the description only tells you so much. Asking your interviewer this question will give you the insider scoop. You can gain insight into the actual responsibilities of the position, as well as how the company, the department, and its team members’ general functions.
Who would I be directly working with? Use this opportunity to find out more about the organization’s existing staff. It will show you how all of the company’s puzzle pieces fit together and if you’re a good fit. Chances are you already know whom you’d be directly reporting to because they are more than likely in the interview room with you. This is your opportunity to find out more about where this role fits into the big picture.
What is the most important skill the person in this position needs to be successful? Instead of obsessing over what traits and skills you don’t have, zero in on what the interviewer thinks is the most crucial thing you’ll need to do well in that position. Asking this helps you cut through all the clutter of the job description, and determine how well you could fulfill the duties of that role.
What’s your favorite part about working here? Employee attitudes can be contagious. Ask your interviewer what he or she likes most about working for the company. If they can’t stop ranting and raving about the dozens of different things they love about the employer, that’s probably a good sign. But if they pause for a minute only to say, “Well, our dental coverage is pretty decent,” it might be a red flag.
How would you describe the culture of this company? Culture has become a bit of a buzzword, but it’s still an incredibly important part of your employment experience. Have your interviewer give a brief description of the company culture. Would they describe it as warm, encouraging, and family-like? Is it high energy, innovative, and constantly pushing to be on the cutting edge? Pay close attention to the words the interviewer uses in order to get a good feel for what qualities the organization values.
What are the next steps in the interview process? Will there be another round of interviews or was that it? Will the interviewer call you? Email you? Send a carrier pigeon? Interviews encourage enough anxiety, so before shaking hands and leaving the office, make sure you’ve asked about what you can expect for next steps. Not only will it help ease your nerves, but it also demonstrates your level of interest in the positions and the entire process.
The things you ask at the end of the interview can be just as important as the answers you provide throughout. So make sure you take some time to get yourself geared up for that portion, too. Keep these six questions in mind and you’re sure to impress the interviewer—and maybe even land the job!
Graphic Created by Brianna Knopf