You might just want to ask, "Did I get the job?" But you can learn a lot about your potential employer by asking a few simple questions.
Most of the time, an interview will end with, “Do you have any questions for me?” Neglecting to ask a single question might make you less engaged or simply not interested in the job. And don’t you want to know if this is the best job for you? Finding out if the job is a good fit for your personality and career goals is a smart idea.
1. Set up for success
Ask about how the ideal candidate would do this job. This way you’ll be clear on the job’s responsibilities and what your potential employer will expect from you. You can also see how well the job fits what you're looking for. If you’re an introvert but the job requires you to be social all day, you might want to reconsider.
2. Think about workplace culture
It works better for everyone when both you and your employer are content. Will you be expected to dress formally for work? Will you be working independently, collaboratively, or both? Knowing your employer’s preferences — and how they fit with your own — will be crucial in deciding whether the job is right for you.
3. What a typical day is like
One of the best ways to envision yourself in a job is to have the interviewer walk you through a typical day. Will you have flexibility in how and when you complete the job’s responsibilities? Do most days involve rushing to meet a deadline? Is it important to answer every email right away? Establish what the workplace routine is like.
4. The company’s history
Of course, you should always do research before an interview and find out as much about the company as you can. But it doesn’t hurt to go beyond the blurb on the website and discover more about the company’s background. What you learn could sway you one way or the other.
5. Approach to feedback
Every company has its own approach to feedback. If you want consistent feedback to help you grow as a professional, a company that only offers annual performance reviews might not be for you.
6. Challenges and benefits
Ask the interviewer what they think about the company. What’s the best part of working there? What’s the most difficult part? Don’t be afraid to turn the interview around a bit to gather more information.
7. Opportunities for advancement
If you’re truly interested in a career, you’ll want to know how you can move up in the system. Will you be able to take on more responsibilities in the future? Would you be able to move into management one day?
8. Who you’ll be working closely with
Our Employee Engagement Survey found that employee satisfaction is strongly linked to working with people you love. Conversely, frustration with the people you work with is a major cause of turnover. It pays to find out what kind of people you’ll be working with — a good fit with your colleagues can make all the difference.
Once you have an offer in hand, then it’s appropriate to talk about salary and benefits. They expect that you’ll negotiate some and settle on a figure that works for both of you. But remember not to ask about pay too early in the interview.
Accepting a job is a big deal. Make sure that you're not making a mistake by finding out as much as you can.