When was the last time you got to the end of a job interview and the hiring manager asked you if you had any questions? Did you have any or did you smile, shake your head and say, “No. I think you answered everything. Thank you.” If you told them no, you might have just left the job offer on the table.
Here’s the scoop…
Hiring managers want you to ask questions! After all, this is a job that you’ll probably spend at least 40 hours at every week. Plus, the right (or wrong) job could have a huge impact on your career and quality of life. So you should 100% ask questions!
But if you’re like most people, you don’t always know what to ask. Lucky for you, we came up with a list of some good questions to ask that will help you show the hiring manager that you’re serious about the job.
What’s the onboarding process like?
Starting with a new company is always a complicated process. There are forms to fill out, training to take place, equipment to be assigned and security access to be granted. You might not start doing the actual job for a few weeks, so it’s best to know upfront what to expect.
Can you describe a typical day for the position?
Remember, not only are they interviewing you to see if you’re the right person, but you’re interviewing them to see if it’s the right job. By giving you a breakdown of a typical day will let you know if it’s a job you really want or not. Plus, it’ll give you some ideas about what specific skills and strengths will be needed to succeed.
What are your expectations for this position in the first three months?
Getting an idea for the company’s expectations will give you a benchmark to strive for. While you’re at it, ask about expectations for the position in six months and one year to know how far the company expects you to develop.
What are the major metrics for the position?
Knowing that the company expects you to succeed is a given. Knowing how they measure that success will let you know where to focus your attention.
Can you describe the company culture and work environment?
Again, the interview isn’t just for the hiring manager. It’s also for you to decide if you want the job. Finding out about the company culture and work environment will help you decide if you’re a good fit.
How did you start with the company and what do you like about it?
When you ask a hiring manager about their own personal experience, they tend to shift from a company employee to a real person. They’ll be honest if they love their job but if they don’t like it, they’ll probably be more clinical and reserved in their answer. Keep their response in mind when you’re deciding if you want the job.
What are the biggest rewards of working for this company?
Money isn’t everything and you don’t want to make yourself miserable by taking a job that you hate. Learn about all of the perks and rewards and you’ll discover new reasons to accept the offer
What gets you most excited about the company’s future?
If the company doesn’t have a plan for the future, that will tell you a lot about their direction. And the last thing you want to do is board a sinking ship!
Considering people currently in this role or those that were in it in the past, what differentiated the ones who were great versus the ones who were not?
This question is a great one because it lets you know exactly what the hiring manager is looking for, which definitely isn’t someone who does a mediocre job. They want someone to excel at the job and by asking this question, you’re letting them know you want to rise to the same standards as the best past employees that held the position.
What’s the biggest challenge you expect the position to face and how do you expect it to be overcome?
Asking this question gives the hiring manager the opportunity to tell you exactly how you can make the biggest impact once you get the job. It’s basically a cheat code for learning how to meet and exceed their expectations.
Is there anything I’ve said or anything on my resume that gives you any concerns about my ability to do the job?
Everyone always wants a second chance to make their first impression. Well, this is yours. By asking this question, you create the opportunity to specifically address any issues or questions they may have about what you’ve said or about your experience and skills.
What’s the timeline for the next steps?
This is really helpful if you’re like most of us that agonize over whether or not you should have heard back from them or not. Obsessing over your phone to see if they’ve called or emailed will give you some major anxiety so having an idea as to when they should be reaching out will give you a chance to relax after the interview.
Now, you don’t have to ask every single one of these questions. Just know that best practice is to ask questions on various topics so they know you’re thinking about the job on different levels. And don’t be afraid to ask the questions you want the answers to. Just don’t ask anything about vacation, schedule or wages. Save that for the next interview or for the negotiating process once they’ve made you an offer.