An interview is more than a chance to sell yourself; it's also an interaction. You want to learn about the company to ensure it's a comfortable place for you to work and make sure it fits your long-term career plan. You also want to emphasize your interest in the position and show the people conducting the interview you can engage in a meaningful discussion.
Therefore, think about the questions you want to ask at the end of the interview. They provide an opportunity to pursue both these goals. Here are three good questions to keep in mind when it’s your turn to ask questions. As a bonus, there’s also one question you should never ask.
What can you tell me about your company's culture?
Just like the person interviewing you knows you're putting the best spin on your experience, you can make the same assumption about them. Still, the way the company is described will give you important clues as to the characteristics the employer values most. Do they talk more about teamwork or achievement levels? Do they emphasize the fast-paced nature of the production, or the customer-focused quality of the brand?
These points of emphasis will help you decide whether you fit into the company's vibe.
What are the qualities of someone who exceeds expectations at this position?
There are two goals here.
First, you might score some go-getter points by indicating you are looking to reach the highest level of achievement. Second, this is important information. It gives you a chance to drill down on the position and get a sense of what will be important for day-to-day operations. If you end up getting a job, the answer will help set your frame of reference coming in, which is always helpful for setting a standard from day one.
What are the advancement prospects for this position?
Don't be shy about wanting to advance your career. The goal of this question is to frame that growth as a benefit for both you and the employer. The point here is you want to move forward with your career and your goal is to do so within the company.
Also, you want to make sure they see it the same way. If there are no opportunities for growth, then it probably isn't the right place for you.
Don't Ask: What are the salary and benefits?
There will be plenty of time later to negotiate compensation. Beyond the slightly gauche nature of the question, it wastes an opportunity. You only have a short time in the interview to introduce yourself and gather as much information as you can about the company. Don't waste precious minutes asking a question that will be irrelevant if they don't offer you the job.
Ready to Take on Your Next Interview?
If you are looking for more specific advice to acing your next interview, a staffing company is a good place to start. Contact Qualified Staffing to get started!