Interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience. Some go well and others are just a disaster but what most people don’t realise is that an interview isn’t just about being grilled by a potential employer. Interviews are a two-way street and you need to be asking certain questions to know what exactly you’d be doing in the company, how well you’d fare and whether or not your goals are in line with that of the company.
So the next time an interviewer asks you if you have any questions for them, go ahead and fire a couple of these questions away.
1. What is the mission/vision of the company?
If there is one thing any job seeker wants, it is a company that has a plan. A mission or a vision can evidence to you what the grand plan of the company is. This question may come with the explanation of certain plans or achievements. All of which, put together, will help you understand the direction that the company is heading on.
2. What is the company’s culture like?
The question opens up information on what the overall morale of the employees is and what corporate philosophy the employer upholds or follows. It also shines a light on the management’s values and how it treats the employees. If the interviewer talks about their personal experience, then you’d be getting first-hand insider information.
3. What have you liked or disliked about working here?
This question lets the interviewer share their personal experience about working in the company. These usually tend to be honest answers, as the interviewer may not have expected to be asked such a question. Be ready to pick up subtle cues such as hesitation to say something nice about the company, or an unlikely fumbling for words. These could be red flags to look out for. If you’re lucky, the interviewer could be full of infectious enthusiasm and praise for the company. That’s when you know working there would be a good thing to strive for.
4. What would my day to day routine be like?
This question does not mean you are asking the person to describe every single thing you will be expected to do. This question simply means that you’d like to know what the working hours are for the company. Often, interviewers will also include bits about what you will be working on so that you have a better understanding of what you are trying to get into.
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5. What is the reporting structure that is followed here?
The answer to this question could tell you how the reporting structure and the responsibilities in a team are distributed. It could also be the answer to your other unasked question, “What can I aspire to in this company?”
It is said that if you have no questions then you may appear uninterested in the opportunity so here’s another one that could make you look interested.
6. What does the company’s name/logo mean?
At time companies have a habit of naming themselves based on some clever reference to their business. Usually, unless it’s explained to you, you won’t figure it out. So if you are at a such a company, a question about what their name means or what their logo stands for could be well received.
7. What comes next?
Not knowing when an interviewer will get back to you and constantly checking your emails and phone every 5 minutes will not do you much good. This question will give you a sense of what tasks need to be completed before a company reaches out to you and how much time it would take before you can expect a response from them.
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There are also some questions you should never ask. We’ve pick the most obvious ones that need no explanation.
1. Have I been selected?
You don’t want to sound desperate, do you?
2. How soon, once I join, can I take leave?
This could make it look like you are just looking for a paycheck… not the feeling you want to give an interviewer.
3. So, what is the company’s main business?
If you haven’t a clue about what the company does, it makes you look unprepared for the job.
4. Will I have to work till late?
While no one likes hanging around in the office after hours, this is not the time or the place to voice this question!
Asking questions is a great way to open up frank discussions about the workplace, the responsibilities and show an interviewer that you care about your future in the company. Not only does it imply your eagerness to work but gives you a chance to know exactly what you’d be contributing to in the company, where you’d stand and whether the job will be a good fit for you or not.
Now that you are a bit better prepared for your next interview, we wish you all the best.
Once you get that job, remember, it’s never too early to start planning the future that’s why you should absolutely read our post about Your Decade-By-Decade Guide to Financial Wellness. Oh and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook.