As with most working adults, you have likely had a number of job interviews in the past that have either gone well or have not for various reasons.
Now, think about a few of those interviews—or at least your most recent one. After likely spending much of the job interview detailing your qualifications and why you are the best person for the job, there is a good chance the interviewer stated, in some form, “Are there any other questions you have for me?”
Most people know it’s a mistake to end with a variation of, “I think we have covered everything, so I don’t have any more questions,” before shaking hands with the interviewer and walking out.
Forgoing the chance to ask questions during a job interview shows a lack of interest, and it can possibly make you appear even desperate. By not taking advantage of this opportunity, you lose the chance to get the interview on your terms.
Prepare Questions Prior to an Interview
While prepping for a job interview, you should look up or at least think of roughly three questions you want to be answered. This opportunity is perfect for not only discovering crucial knowledge about this potential employer, but it’s also an opportunity to show off your own knowledge, your work ethic, your interest, and your professionalism. To get you started, here are several examples that may serve you well in a job interview:
- What is the company culture like?
- What level of growth can you expect in the next couple of years?
- Why has this position opened up?
- Can you describe the company’s attitude on customer service?
- What would you say the company’s prospects are for advancement and growth?
- How many years have you been with the company?
- What is the hiring process’s next step?
- What do you hope I will accomplish for the company in my first three months?
- How would you describe your favorite part about working for the company?
The more questions you have prepared in this manner, the better. It’s even advisable to write down all your questions on a legal pad that you take to the interview with you.
Additionally, this gives the impression that you are well-prepared for the interview and had a game plan going in, not just “winging it,” as so many candidates tend to do. By taking over the interview in this way, you are able to paint a picture of a candidate that was both confident and well-prepared for the position.
Not All Questions are Good Questions
Everyone knows that the interview is a significant determining factor in whether you are offered a job or not.To be sure, here are some questions you never should ask during an opening interview:
- Does the company perform background checks?
- Do I have a job?
- What can I expect of the hours?
- What’s the company’s drug-testing policy?
- What kind of health insurance does the company offer?
- When can I expect to qualify for a promotion or a raise?
The bottom line here is that you don’t want to ask questions early on that show desperation or lack of a work ethic. For instance, asking about vacation days right out of the gate is a huge red flag to most interviewers. If you are worried about how many hours you will be working, it could be taken as laziness. These are all important things to know, but you also need to know when the appropriate time to ask these questions is and it surely is NOT during the first interview.
You might not have much control over how the interview begins, but it is possible for you to control the way in which the interview finishes. It is your last opportunity to highlight your interest in the job and your knowledge of your field, so make sure not to waste it.