Candidates must ask questions to determine if the job fits their career path and objectives. While you need to use the interview to convince the employer that you are the best candidate for the job, you also need to be convinced that the job and the company would be a great fit.
Asking the right questions also shows the interviewer that you’ve prepared carefully and are serious about the opportunity. However, asking a bad question is worse than asking none at all.
Here you have a list to plan ahead and use caution when you take the floor in an interview.
Questions you should ask in an interview:
- How would you describe the company’s culture and leadership philosophy?
- Can you please show me some examples of projects that I’d be working on?
- What is the single largest problem facing your staff, and would I be in a position to help you solve this problem?
- What specific qualities and skills are you looking for in the job candidate?
- Is this a new position, or did someone leave? If someone left, why did they leave or what did they go on to do?
- What is the typical career trajectory for a person in this position?
- What would you say are the three most important skills needed to excel in this position?
- Who would be my manager, and will I have the opportunity to meet him or her?
- Why do you like working here?
- What does a typical day or week look like for the person in this position? Is there travel, flextime, etc?
- How do you see this position contributing to the success of the organization?
- What do you think distinguishes this company from its competitors, both from a public and employee perspective?
- Does the company offer continued education and professional training?
- How can I best contribute to the department?
- What particular achievements would equate to success at this job? What would success look like?
- Are you most interested in a candidate who works independently, on a team, cross-functionally, or through a combination of them all? Can you give me an example?
- What is your ideal communication style with your staff? Do you meet regularly with your team, rely heavily on e-mail, use status reports or work primarily through other means?
- How do you see me as a candidate for the job in comparison with an ideal candidate?
- Do you have any concerns about me or about my qualifications that may prevent you from selecting me for the job?
- What is the next step? When do you think you will be making a decision?
Questions to avoid in an interview:
- Never ask for information you could have easily found with a quick Google search.
- Never ask if you can change the job details, the schedule, or the salary.
- Never ask many questions about the interviewer’s background.
- Never ask about pay, time off, benefits, etc. (Wait until later in the process to inquire about these things.)
- Never ask “What does your company do?”
- Never ask “If I’m hired, when can I start applying for other positions in the company?”
- Never ask how quickly you can be promoted.
- Never ask “Do you do background checks?”
- Never ask about gossip you’ve heard.
- Never ask if the company monitors e-mail or Internet usage.