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An interview is a two-way street. Obviously it’s a great chance to show off your qualifications and experience as you answer questions, but it’s also a chance to demonstrate your enthusiasm, preparation and maturity when it’s your turn to ask the questions. And if you ask the right questions, not only will you impress your interviewer, you’ll also make sure you don’t get stuck in a bad situation. Use this time to learn as much as you can to really discern your opportunity.

Here are the types of questions to ask your interviewer.

The role

Aside from making sure you understand the role you’re applying for, you also want to demonstrate you fully understand its challenges and responsibilities. Ask what a typical day is like. Find out what the most valuable skills and qualities are for someone to be successful in this role. Ask about the history of the position—is it a new role? If not, what did the person you’re replacing go on to do? Who would you report to, and who would you work with? Is travel involved? What about the possibility of relocation? What does a typical workweek look like? Inquire about the company’s expectations for the role during the first 30 days, 60 days, and year. Are there any prospects for advancement?

The company

You need to know about the culture of the company and make sure you’re comfortable with its goals, vision and dynamic. What does the company value most? What are the best and worst aspects of working there? How does the company define and measure success. Ask about the future of the company—where will it be in five years? If you plan to stay for a while, you want to make sure the company is thriving.

Challenges and competition

Find out about the company’s plans for growth and development. What opportunities are the company focusing on? What challenges does the company face, and who is its competition? How does it approach these challenges?

Ask the interviewer

Ask the interviewer some personal questions about their history with the company. What makes you good at your job? How long is the average tenure of an employee? Then, ask some follow-up questions about the next steps in the hiring process. Ask when you can expect to hear back, and when the anticipated start date is. Will you be assigned a mentor?

You want to ask at least two good questions. Avoid asking yes or no questions, or questions that are vague and difficult to answer. Frame them so they demonstrate you’ve done research and you’re taking the process seriously. For more tips on how to really shine in a job interview, contact us today.


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