When going into a job interview, candidates prepare to answer tough questions and perfect their elevator pitches. However, a crucial part of the interview process is often forgotten. Interviewees often hesitate to ask questions pertaining to the company and position, but creating a discussion around these topics (at the appropriate opportunities) can show that a candidate is thoughtful, eager, and interested. Here are five must-ask questions to start a dialogue.
About the position
It is always important to be informed about the company and the position you’re applying for; however, this is an opportunity to learn why there is actually a position available. Was the previous employee let go, promoted, or is it a new role? By asking these questions you will learn what the position entails and how it has been handled previously. Another crucial question to ask is if there has been a high turnover rate. It may mean that you might not keep the job for long, even if you succeed.
How can you succeed?
While discussing the position, ask the interviewer what it takes to succeed in this role. By knowing what it takes, you’ll be better equipped if you are offered the job. The interviewer may describe what past employees have done, outlining successful and ineffective methods that have been used. Asking about the first task you will be managing in this position may also provide some insight. This can help you determine whether or not you will be able to complete the goals set by the company.
Asking about company culture can help when making a decision if the company offers you a job. The company’s values and goals can speak volumes about whether it will be a good fit for you. If the interviewer has little to say, this may imply that the company is not an enjoyable place to work. It is also important to note how they communicate within the company. If you are someone who is outspoken and is always full of ideas, a company that is not interactive could be a poor fit.
You may be hesitant to ask questions regarding your qualifications and any gaps in your resume, but it can be an opportunity to address them and play up your strengths. By clarifying issues before the company makes a decision, your answer can persuade them. Talking about your qualifications also shows confidence and that you are willing to be trained. Companies look for potential employees who can be molded and trained to fit the company’s needs.
What to expect next
As your interview comes to a close, don’t be afraid to ask what to expect next in the process. Be sure to ask about the timeline of the hiring process and provide your preferred method of contact. This will show the interviewer that you are eager and attentive. It can also give you a better idea of how you performed during the interview.
An interview should be an opportunity to create discussion and gain insight for both the interviewer and potential candidate. Asking these questions not only helps the interviewer get to know you better, but they can also help you understand the company as well.
Priya Sudendra is a recent graduate of University of Colorado and a staff writer for CollegeFocus, a website dedicated to helping students deal with the challenges of college, including housing, finance, style, health, relationships, and transferring from a community college to a four-year university. You can follow CollegeFocus on Twitter and Facebook.
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