When you start your job search, there are so many possibilities out there. You are excited and want to jump at the first opportunity that comes your way. Instead of throwing your resume around carelessly, take a little time to search out who the company is to see if you think you’d be a good fit. Read the job description thoroughly, and then decide whether or not you’d like to join their team. Apply for the job, and see if they also think you’d be a good match. If you’ve made it this far, then you should always agree to take the job interview if one is offered to you. It’s a great way to meet who you’d be working with so you can get a feel if this is right for you. Yes, you are being interviewed for the position, but you are also interviewing them to see if you like the company and the job at hand. Don’t be shy and come prepared to learn who they are.
Take your time and let the interviewer lead with the questions. As the conversation flows, there will come a time when the employer asks if you have any questions that you’d like to ask. If you come back with no questions it can seem like you are disengaged and not serious about the position. On the other hand, you want to have quality questions to gather as much information as possible. Here are a few questions that can help get the conversation started.
- Can you tell me more about the day-to-day expectations for the job?
- What are the qualities needed to excel in this position?
- Are there goals that are to be reached quarterly, yearly, etc.?
- What do you foresee the biggest challenges of this position being?
- What is the typical work week like?
- Is there a training period for this position?
- What is the culture of the company?
- Who is your top competitor and why?
- What do you enjoy about working for this company?
- Is there room for advancement?
Things to Ask Once You’ve Been Offered the Job
- What is the salary? – Always make sure you know exactly how you’ll be compensated for your work so that there are no surprises or miscommunications.
- How do sick days, vacation time, or paid time off work? – You should make sure to read the entire job description or offer details to find out how much vacation time you get.
- How do you handle prior commitments? – Be upfront when it comes to any planned engagements that could disrupt your work schedule.
- Is health insurance offered? – Benefits like insurance or 401k are a huge part of employment, and you should be aware of exactly what to expect before you begin work.
- What hours will be expected of me to work each week? Is any overtime anticipated? If you need to be available on weekends, it’s good to know that now, and not after you start.
You want to avoid asking questions that prompt simple “yes” or “no” responses. Ask open-ended questions to lead the employer to think and respond with a few sentences. You’ll gather much more information by letting someone else do most of the talking. People love to talk about themselves, and typically they don’t get the opportunity to. You can flatter them by asking questions about how they enjoy the position and how they started at this company. Watch as their face lights up as they take you down a walk on memory lane.
All in all, make sure that the position fits your needs. Does it meet you where you feel that you’ll excel? Does the position sound like something that you’d enjoy? Does the culture and atmosphere fit with something that you’re comfortable with? If yes, then continue the conversation if they offer the position to you. If not, don’t be afraid to keep looking until you do find the job that is right for you.