Now, Do You Have Any Questions?
“Who is that hot babe in the picture?” isn’t the type of reply
an interviewer expects to hear when he or she invites you to
ask questions near the end of an interview. In fact, the way
you approach the Q&A session will have a direct impact on
the interviewer’s perception of you. Based on the questions you
ask, a judgment will be made in regard to how interested you
seem to be in working for the company.
For this reason, when you are forming questions ask yourself,
What do I need to know about the company in order to determine
if this is the workplace for me? How you answer this question
depends on the career values that are important to you, and
therefore, there isn’t a right or wrong answer.
That said, make sure that you do not ask the “What’s-in-it-for
me?” type question. Though questions regarding salary,
benefits, and vacation time are valid, the place to broach
those topics is when an offer is on the table, not before.
SAMPLE QUESTIONS YOU
Are there any plans
for a corporate merger or outsourcing
When a merger or
outsourcing happens, layoffs follow. Before you accept a
position, you should inquire about the direction the company
is taking. Many candidates are under the misconception that
only failing companies downsize. In truth, no matter how
stable they are, companies are always looking to cut costs.
How closely do my
qualifications match the requirements for the open
Two things can happen when you ask this question. (1) The
interviewer can affirm that your experience, skills and
abilities are a perfect fit. Needless to say, if that is the
interviewer’s response, you have a good shot at landing a job
offer. (2) The interviewer may divulge that the company is
looking to hire someone with more experience in XYZ. Believe it
or not, if this occurs it can work out to your advantage
because you have another opportunity to sell
How long has this position been open?
If the interviewer reveals that the position has been open for
three months, you can ask a follow-up question such as, “It is
obvious that the company is taking its time in finding the
right candidate, and there must have been qualified candidates
that have interviewed. What would you say they were lacking
that an offer wasn’t extended?” In asking this follow-up
question, you will find out exactly what the interviewer is
looking for and you can adapt your responses to meet the
company’s specific needs.
Are promotions based on seniority or
Some companies still hold on to the old-school mentality where
old-timers, no matter their accomplishments or lack thereof,
are offered an opportunity to move up the ladder before a new
hire gets the same opportunity. You deserve to know that if you
put 110% in your work, you will be rewarded accordingly.
If you could change one thing about how this company functions,
what would it be?
Just as you are not perfect, neither is a company. Interviewers
are aware of this fact and therefore, during the interview
process they do their best to sell the organization as a great
place to go to every day. It is part of your job to uncover
everything about the hiring organization – the good, the bad,
and everything in between.
Well-thought-out, clear, and intelligent questions are the ones
that leave a positive impression with the listener. Take the
time to evaluate what is important to you and form questions
around those issues.