by Joseph Gustav
Interviews are nerve-wracking, and it’s important to prepare at length for them beforehand. But one often overlooked component of an interview is the questions the interviewee gets to ask, usually after the interviewer is done with their grilling.
These questions are important not just to help you, as the interviewee, obtain a better grasp of the job at hand but also to show to the interviewer that you are thoughtful, critical, and smart through your pointed and relevant questions. Prepare for your questions through a little self-examination so that you know yourself and what you want out of the position.
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1. What career advancement opportunities will the position typically offer? This is one is key. Not only will it show ambition to the interviewer, a trait that is always in high demand, but it will answer a question you want to (and need to) know. Don’t get stuck in a position without much room for career advancement or that won’t help you learn skills to help you advance in similar positions. If the answer isn’t to your liking, start looking elsewhere and give yourself a better chance to keep moving forward.
2. What do you see ahead for the company in the next 5 years? Do not just make the interview all about your ambitions. Instead, turn the focus on what you can do to help the company achieve their goals. Find out what those goals are through a question such as this. A good company will have a clear vision of where they want to go in the relatively near future. Find out what that vision is and immediately start thinking on ways your skills and experience can help get them there. Also, if the company is going nowhere quick, well, at least now you know.
3. Where is the industry heading? Hear from an expert on the topic where the field is going and (hopefully) how the company is going to adapt along with change, or be a frontrunner in making change happen. This question will show you to have not only a natural curiosity but a perspective that extends beyond your position. Can anyone say, management prospect?
4. What do you consider to be the most important aspects of the job? Find out what they are and show yourself to be someone looking to understand the position and what it takes to do the best work possible while holding it. If you already have the skills and experience required, promote it to your advantage.
5. What is a typical day or week like in this position? Is it mostly office-based work? Lots of meetings with clients? A fair amount of time spent out in the field, away from the desk? Find out by gaining a clearer vision of what work life will entail, and whether that truly fits your personality or not.
6. What is the evaluation process for the company? It is important to learn right out the gate what the company’s expectations will be of you and your work and how your successes — or failures — will be measured. Don’t let evaluation methods surprise you later on, and factor them in to your decision-making process.
7. What are the next steps in the application process? This is the perfect note to end on. Learn what to expect, whether it be more interviews or time spent by the phone eagerly awaiting a call from the company. Show that you are enthusiastic about the position and that you want keep moving forward — hopefully to a new position.