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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Taylor, MHRM

Top 5 Questions to Ask the Interviewer

Interviews can be stressful! The first thing you want to do afterwards is GET OUT OF THERE! But, not so fast. Instead, be prepared to ask some questions. I have interviewed a number of people over the years who come into the interview blindly, meaning, they did a couple of things:

A. Skimmed over the job description

B. Do not have a basic understanding of what the job entails

C. Just saw the salary range and felt that would be enough

The interview goes both ways. Now it's your turn to interview the Interviewer...

Exiting an interview with no questions may give the impression that you are ill-prepared and/or not interested. Some may think it communicates that they were listening to everything and can understand absolutely everything during one encounter. Please know: The interview goes both ways. Now it's your turn to interview the Interviewer by gaining a better understanding about what your prospective position involves.

Engage. Get involved with the interview. Show your skills. Start your questions with what you understand about the role. Hearing someone I interview recap what we discussed in terms of the role let's me know they are interested, engaged and listening. Phrases such as: From what I now understand about the position, I will be... [insert your recap of the conversation/interview here]

Top 5 GREAT Questions to Ask the Interviewer:

  1. Can you describe what a typical day would be like for me?

  2. What is the culture of the company?

  3. How is this role and/or department supporting the organization?

  4. Are there any growth opportunities? If so, can you provide an example of someone who has progressed within the organization?

  5. What are our next steps after the interview?

These questions communicates your interest-level with the position, your drive and your attention to detail.

Getting an idea of a typical day in the life will give you a better understanding of what to expect in your role. Familiarizing yourself with the company culture will give you a sense of whether or not you are coming into a relaxed, warm, results-driven or rigid workplace environment. Knowing how you are contributing to the organization as a whole will clarify how you are supporting the organization. This will give you a better idea as to where you fit in with the company. Some employers get offend when asking about growth opportunities because they feel you are aiming for their role. Please assure that you are asking to see if/how the company invests in their human capital. Inquiring about the next steps after the interview is a question to help you. It's a question that will help put you at ease when leaving the interview. Not knowing what to expect, can cause you to be anxious.

There are so many other questions to ask, but my goal is to encourage you to at least have 5 questions ready to ask. Write them down if you have to, and if your Interviewer already answered them, please feel free to voice that to the Interviewer. For an Interviewer that is great instant-feedback to let them know that they too communicated effectively.

As the interview series is coming to an end over the next couple of weeks, just know that the key to a successful interview is preparation. The more prepared you are, the smoother the interview will be. Preparation, not perfection. There's a difference!



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