By Betsy Thayer
Everyone knows you must have questions prepared in advance of your interview. If you do not have questions you will most likely not be considered for the job. The questions you ask give the interviewer insight into your intellectual level, your interest level in the position, and can give you more insight regarding what would be expected of you once you start.
You have already researched the company, and the major players, so what should you ask?
- Is this a new position? If not, please explain the evolution of the position up to now. What happened to the last person who held this position? This question will give you insight on growth opportunities within the company. If it is a new position ask for the reasons for creation.
- What is the management style of my direct report? What kind of person will be successful in this position? What are the personality traits of someone that will excel in this position?
- What are the immediate challenges of this position that need to be addressed right away? Within the first 3 months? 6 months?
- What do you see in the next 5 years for your company? This will give you a barometer for the growth of the company and where you will fit in with the long term plans.
- Do you have any hesitations about me as a candidate? Are there any qualities you have seen in other candidates that you do not see in me? This is an excellent opportunity to find out if there are any misconceptions or hesitations about your skill set. This also conveys your confidence level. Confidence will propel you to the top of the resume pile.
- What are the next steps? You need to know when to follow up, if they will call you, and if there might be a second interview.
Remember you are interviewing the company as well. Long term relationships are a two-way street that need to fit for both parties. Do NOT ask about salary or benefits in the first interview unless the hiring manager brings up the issue (this is a subject best left to the second interview). Make sure you get all of your questions answered before you sign that offer letter!