Questions to Ask at the End of an Interview
A job interview can be a lot like a first date. Each person is just trying to figure the other out. We've all been there. You’re in the interview and the hiring manager or HR person is asking the questions. Things are going great and you feel like you’re closing in on a new career. Then comes the question that stumps you. “Do YOU have any questions for ME.” It’s one that has tripped up many interviewees. But it doesn't have to be that way. During an interview, it’s just as important to figure out whether you are a good match for the company as it is for the company to figure out whether you are the best candidate for the job. In fact, it’s the perfect opportunity to find out more about the company, its culture and goals. All of which will play a big part in how well you’d do as an employee.
To get you started, here are some good, basic questions to ask the next time you’re in a job interview!
“What are your expectations of me in the first 60-90 days?”
The best of us want to hit the ground running we do not want the first few months to getting to know the organization. I want to make an impact--right away.
“What traits are commonly shared with the top performers?”
What are the key qualities to the top contributors? Is it the hours put in, new relationships vs. grooming long-term ones, maybe it is the willingness to work on the small tasks as well as conquering the big ones.
Is there room for growth within the company?
This is another question that can tell you a lot about the company where you’re interviewing. Knowing that the company likes to hire from within (or, as in the previous question, the reason the job is open is because someone was promoted) can tell you a lot about your opportunities there. Asking your recruiter this question will also tell you more about the kind of relationship they've got with the client.
What are the few things that really increase the company’s bottom line?
How quickly can I make a positive return on my compensation? Do you have good company retention vs. the industry average? Do you rely on your team to generate additional revenue? A great candidate wants to know what makes a difference and what the vision to increasing profits is. A company succeeding will mean I succeed as well!
What does the team do in their spare time?
A great team likes what they do and actually like each other! This may not be easy for a manager to answer but work/life balance is the common denominator… Are there team building events?
When can I expect to hear from you? If I am extended a job offer, how soon would you like me to start?
Waiting can be one of the most frustrating parts of looking for a new job; especially if you've been on of work for a long period of time. Your recruiter should always do his or her best to keep you in the loop once you've been submitted for a job. The reality, however, is that sometimes the process can take time. Asking your recruiter to plan a specific time to update you on the hiring process is a great idea. It will also help to keep your name in the recruiter’s mind.
Start dates and times are always negotiable. Sometimes recruiters are hiring for jobs that start immediately (even the next day!), other times jobs will require relocation and a two week notice from your previous employer. Either way, be sure to ask your recruiter about this, so you know exactly what to expect.
Is there anything else I should know about this job?
News reporters will often tell you the most important question they ask during an interview is “Is there anything else you’d like to say?” or “is there anything I forgot to ask?” This almost always elicits an interesting or unexpected answer from an interview subject because they’re given the chance to speak their mind freely and talk about what is most important to them. In the same way, asking your recruiter if there is anything else you should know about the job will give them the chance to review anything important they may have missed during the course of the conversation.
Whatever the question, remember that what you ask can be just as important as the answer you receive.