Rochester NY Stake Employment Center

April 29, 2011

6 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview

Filed under: Interviewing — Larry @ 2:05 pm

Job interviews usually close with the same five words: "Do you have any questions?" It may sound benign, but for a job applicant, it can feel like the moment of truth.

By this point, the employer has read your cover letter and resume, corresponded with you by e-mail and phone to learn more about you and has probably just finished lecturing you on the company and the position. It’s been a long process of showing your worth, and when they ask this final question, it may feel like it’s the last real opportunity to prove yourself to a potential employer before they decide if you are, in fact, the one.

We’ve rounded up the six best questions to ask in your next job interview, which can help you get a better idea of whether the position is right for you and perhaps even impress the interviewer in the process.

What do you really enjoy about working here?
When you step into an interview, it’s important to remember that the person conducting the interview isn’t just there to intimidate you; he or she is also your window into the company. And with this question, you can tactfully get a better sense of how the interviewer — and perhaps employees in general — feels about the company you may one day call home. The answer to this question as well as the tone of the answer will provide critical insights as to how happy and supported employees feel at the organization.

What are your goals for the company in the next year?
Much of the interview itself will likely be devoted to the specifics of your position and your qualifications for it, so it’s a good idea to break out of that pattern when possible to get a sense of the big picture. This particular question can give you a better sense of how your position fits into the company as a whole, and more broadly, about whether the company is a good place to work.

What skills do I need to have most to help the team?
The best questions one can ask are the ones that show you care about teamwork, bottom line results and know how to manage yourself in a group. With this particular question, you accomplish all of those points and can get better a sense of what will be expected of you once you start working.

If I were hired, what would you like to see me achieve in my first three to six months on the job?
As with the previous question, this one will help you get a better sense of how you’ll be judged in your new career.
It’s important to understand expectations from the get-go; this is especially true if you are being hired for a management position.

Why is this position vacant?
It may sound like an off-putting question at first blush, but it’s essential. It’s important to know whether the position is vacant because someone was promoted from within, or the job is newly created because of growth or if it’s a vacant because of high turnover. Don’t wait until getting hired to discover you’re the sixth person in three months to occupy the seat.

Do you have any reservations in hiring me?
If all your questions have been answered, it is recommended ending the interview with this powerful line.
Just have some self-confidence and say, ‘No, I don’t have any questions, but I’ve learned a lot here and I know this is a great job for me. Do you have any reservations in hiring me?’ It forces the hiring manager to tell you what reservations they do have, and gives you an opportunity to combat them.

What Not to Ask
For all the questions you should ask during an interview, there are many more that you should generally avoid asking.
Don’t ask them questions about what you want out of the job — money, advancement opportunities — it just comes off as selfish. Likewise, hold off on asking about vacation days and salaries.

These are kiss-of-death questions. Save them for after you actually get the job offer.

From MONROE COUNTY DHS Weekly Employment Bulletin – 07Mar2011

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