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7 Questions to Ask During an Interview

Job interviews no longer resemble what is portrayed on television and in movies; a candidate sitting nervously, hands in his or her lap, only speaking when asked an interview question, and trying their best to get all their answers exactly right.

If you don’t ask any interview questions, you are unlikely to get the job. It’s that simple. Conversational interviews are the style of the decade. Companies want to hire people who know what they want and are as selective in their job search as they are in looking for a candidate. Asking interview questions shows your interest in the company, expectations for the job, and indicates you’re looking for something long-term. It also shows that you are independent, self-assured, and not afraid to be challenging.

Failing to ask any questions might be interpreted as you lacking interest in the position or that you’re simply desperate to land a job. Both of these are red flags for an employers. Hiring and training new employees is expensive for companies and they certainly don’t want to hire someone who will turn around and leave shortly thereafter.

Most importantly, if you ask the right kind of questions, beyond the scope of work and the pay range, it will help you make an informed decision about the organization.

Related post: 6 Things to Look for in Company Culture…and When to Run

So what kind of questions should be asked in an interview? Here are a few to keep in mind…and a few to avoid:

Do‘s for your Interview Questions

  • You should ask genuine, thoughtful, open-ended questions. Try to generate a couple of questions specific to the company and the position being interviewed for.
  • You should talk about the management style of whomever you would be working with or reporting to. Are they hands-on or hands-off? Do they like for their team to work autonomously or do they tend to be heavily involved? How will this affect you?
  • You can ask about turnover on the team. Is the position you’re interviewing for being backfilled, did a long-term employee leave, or is it a newly created role? Try to get an idea of what the company dynamic is like.
  • You need to find out what career advancement looks like within the organization. Request specific examples of various growth paths people took and how long it took them to get there. Getting specific information will help you determine if advancement is real or just an idea at this organization.
  • Ask what they are looking for in their employees. Their answer can help you show that want to become the best and want to be the best for the role and share experiences that show how you fit.
  • Ask something related to this moment in time in your interview quesions. How have they handled all of the changes as a result of the pandemic? What do their internal communications and the chain of command look like? How do they operate during a rough economy. You want to feel secure in your new workplace – this info matters!
  • If the opportunity arises, ask questions to different people to get multiple viewpoints. For example, ask questions to the HR manager, hiring manager, and maybe even potential future colleagues.

Do Not

  • Try to avoid asking about a benefits packages, PTO allowances, and other extras. It can sound presumptuous on your part. Most state and federal governments require that companies provide certain benefits to their employees, so rest assured that the basics exist even if you don’t know the details yet.
  • Don’t ask things in a negative light. You need to keep the experience upbeat
  • Don’t probe if they choose to deflect on an answer. If can make people feel uncomfortable.

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