Interviewing for a new job can be a scary, nerve wracking experience. You never really know exactly what they’re going to ask you, so no matter how thoroughly you prepare, walking in to an interview can still leave you riddled with anxiety. While you’re researching the company and making a mental note of your biggest strengths and weaknesses, remember that at the end of every interview, the final question is “Do you have any questions?”
Fight the temptation to say no and get out of there as fast as you can. This is another opportunity to make a great impression. Be ready with these questions:
1. Are there any opportunities for advancement?
Nobody wants to be stuck in a dead end job. It’s good to know before taking on a new position if there is room to grow with the company, room for promotion, and raises. If this is the company you want to be with for years to come, you need to know that you’re not going to be “stuck”in this one position. Don’t let them get away with a simple yes here, make sure they get specific so you know exactly what you’re getting into.
2. How do Managers set employees up for success?
The answer to this question is very important. Is there good communication between leaders and employees? Are goals and deadlines clearly established? Is it a supportive work environment where the employees can feel free to ask questions and offer input and suggestions? Will you be praised for things you do well and not just disciplined if something doesn’t go correctly? It’s nice to know what sort of environment you’ll be in every day, and to know ahead of time that you’ll be comfortable with the level of support you get from those you report to. Their answer to this is very telling, be sure to pay attention so you can scope out the team weaknesses early.
3. What do you expect me to accomplish within the first month or year?
The answer to this question provides you with a pretty good look at what is expected of you in this new position. Will the first month be a training period or are you expected to complete a project? Once you know what the immediate goals are, you know how to achieve and surpass those goals. Asking this question in your interview shows the interviewer that you are goal oriented and care about meeting expectations.
4. Can you give me an example of a project I would be working on?
Getting a few examples of past projects will help you visualize what you’ll need to do should you accept this position. Listen for details about timelines for the project, do they seem reasonable? Ask about deliverables and what you are expected to produce throughout and at the end of the project. This question, above all others will help you get a full and clear understanding of what this position entails.
5. What do you feel are the biggest challenges I would face in this position?
Let them rattle off a few examples of problems you might face in this new job. If they all sound like things you could handle, perhaps you’d be the perfect fit! If some of the possibilities sound like too much, however, it might be time to rethink this position. It’s easy to read a job description and feel like you’re a match, but hearing about unexpected challenges can give the job a more realistic feel.
6. How is the team structured?
Knowing this can make all the difference when it comes to accepting the position or not. Are there other people in your position? How many mangers are there? How does this effect projects? Some people love working alone then joining together in the end. Other people prefer to work in a group setting where everyone offers input and shares the responsibilities. Does the structure of the team change depending on the project? Is the team leader set or does it change from project to project? You want to make sure you’ll be comfortable with the team structure and style before you take the job.
7. What’s your management style?
There are many management styles and it’s important to know which one your supervisor uses as well as which type works best for you. I, for one, have a very difficult time working under someone who uses the Authoritative style, where one person makes the rules and they have final say in everything, but pair me with a manager who uses the Democratic or Inspirational styles and I’m the most efficient worker ever! Want to know which management style you should be looking for? Check out the 10 types here.
8. What is your timeline for filling this position?
This question may seem a little pushy, but trust me on this, the answer is incredibly helpful to know. If this is your dream job and you’re waiting around endlessly for an answer, you may turn down other suitable jobs holding out hope for this position when in reality it may have already been filled. Knowing when the decision will be made doesn’t mean you don’t have to call to check on the status of the open position but it does allow you to call on or after that date to inquire and let the hiring manager know that you are still very interested in the position. It also saves you from checking your phone every fifteen minutes to see if someone has called to offer you the job. Knowing when the decision will be made will put your mind at ease in many many different ways.
Asking a few of your own questions shows the interviewer that you’re interested in the position and allows you to get a better grasp on what will be expected of you. Take this opportunity to get all of the information you can!