Why It’s Important to Have Questions for Employers in an Interview
Job applicants often focus entirely on rehearsing answers to questions they will potentially encounter during an interview. Interviews, however, are not just about answering questions – they are about asking them, too.
Although you only plan to ask two, it is always a good idea to prepare at least four questions in advance, in the event some of your prepared questions are answered during the course of the interview. You do not want to ask a question for which you already know the answer, nor should you attempt to think of thoughtful questions off the cuff under the pressure of the interview; both courses of action make a job candidate appear disinterested and less competent. The questions you pose to your potential employer give you a chance to showcase your existing knowledge of the company, your professionalism and work ethic, and your interest in the position.
What to Ask the Interviewer
Asking just any questions, however, is not a good idea. Ask the questions which will best highlight your talents and interest in the company. Consider questions such as:
- How they define the company’s or workplace’s culture.
- Which traits the perfect job candidate would possess and how you compare.
- Ask about the company’s hierarchy or pecking order. Find out how many supervisors you would have.
- What your typical work day and responsibilities would involve.
- Ask about the company’s expectations for you in the position and how those expectations will evolve over time.
- Which steps must be completed before the company would make you an offer.
- Find out if the position is new. If not, ask why the previous employee left.
What Not to Ask the Interviewer
In addition to asking the right questions, be sure to avoid any incorrect or off-putting questions which might come off as insensitive or make you look like you have not done enough initial research regarding the open job position or the company. Avoid asking questions on these topics:
- What the company does
- Your salary or wage
- Long work hours or overtime
- Vacation days and benefits
- Potential promotions or raises; you need to secure this job, first.
- Intra-office conflict resolution
- Questions about the interviewer’s personal life
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