You've spent weeks or even months preparing for this moment. It seems like you completed hundreds of applications. You've incessantly bugged anyone with a heartbeat to read over your cover letters and practice answering interview questions. You're prepped. You're ready.
It's time to shine because today you have a job interview. You put on your most professional getup and you even brush your teeth! Armed with copies of your resume and references, you walk into the employer's office with confidence, shake the hiring manager's hand with the strength of a Titan, and nail the interview questions. The session is wrapping up nicely, but then the interviewer asks, "So, do you have any questions for me?"
A common mistake job seekers make is failing to bring a few good questions of their own to the interview.
"I find it hard to believe that people interview for jobs and don't have questions to ask," says Leslie, an HR manager in Virginia. "[Asking questions] shows that they are interested and want as much information as possible to make an informed decision." Equipping yourself with questions for the employer before you walk into an interview can put you ahead of your competition. Here are some tips for asking questions during a job interview:
- Research the company through their website. Check out company news or even how they are involved in the community so you can form solid questions. This shows employers that you have done your homework and are sincerely interested in the job.
- Ask open-ended questions. Questions that start with "who, what, when, where, and how" are great because they require more than a one-word answer. Avoid "yes" or "no" questions as much as you can.
- Don't ask questions about pay or benefits. Wait until the hiring manager brings up these topics.
- Have about three questions prepared. Here are the ones I usually keep in my back pocket:
- "What does a typical day or week look like in this position?"
- "What would success look like in this position?"
- "What are the biggest challenges someone in this position might face?"
Remember, you are interviewing the company as much as they are interviewing you. Employers want you to be excited to work for them. Check out more interview tips – and good luck!