Many job interview advice guides recommend being armed with questions to ask your interviewer when the opportunity arises; however, it is sometimes hard to know what to ask to portray yourself in the best light.
Your questions should enable you to get a good feel for the company’s work culture while showing that you want to understand what working for this employer would truly be like. This is also a great opportunity to highlight your confidence and show that you have come to the interview prepared.
If you sometimes struggle to think of that killer question, here are five excellent examples of what to ask.
1. Is this a new position or a vacancy?
It is a good idea to ask why the position you are interviewing for is open in the first place. If the position is not new, ask how long the previous holder was in the position and be wary if it appears to be a quick turnaround. If there seems to be a revolving door of employees, there is probably something wrong.
Even if your interviewer attempts to skirt around the question, their reaction will give you an idea of whether you have touched on a sensitive point.
2. Do colleagues tend to go out for lunch or stay at their desks?
This question will give you a good idea about the friendliness and connectivity of the workforce. The answer will also give you an inkling of how relaxed the working environment is.
Depending on the response, consider why staff would choose to eat at their desks. Do they need to work through their lunches to keep up with their workload and is it likely that you will be expected to do the same? Also bear in mind the fact that the team that rarely takes a break is typically more tired and unhappy than the team that does.
3. What is the team’s turnover rate?
By asking about turnover in a confident and non-accusatory way, you can demonstrate that you are a strategic decision maker but also operate with care.
If the answer you get seems to be unusually high, ask – again with care – to what the company attributes such a turnover. High turnovers could be a sign of bad management, stressful working conditions or minimal raises.
4. After this interview, do you have any concerns regarding my qualifications?
People often put off asking questions such as this during interviews in fear that the answer will be a resounding ‘yes’; however, biting the bullet and asking this potentially terrifying question may actually enable you to clarify or alleviate any of your interviewer’s reservations.
5. How is the company doing financially?
Don’t be afraid to ask this important questions. If you accept a job offer, you want to know that your future with the company is secure. The last thing you need is to be back on the job hunt after just a few weeks of tying down what you thought was your ideal position as a result of crumbling profits or a sudden bankruptcy.
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