You Better Have Questions Prepared for Your Interviewer

Posted by Rob Riggins

QuestionsA job interview is one of your best opportunities to determine if the position and the company are a good fit.  A hiring manager will be making this assessment and you should be, too. The interview isn’t a one-way street – it’s a dialog between two professionals. As a job candidate you are not just entitled to ask questions – it’s expected of you.

Take advantage of this opportunity. Not only does it help you determine if the position offers the qualities you seek, but it shows the hiring manager that you are an active participant with a genuine interest. Asking well-thought out questions can create a lasting impression and when the employer is doing a review of candidates, it’s in your best interest to stand out.

As a part of your prep for the next interview, review these suggested questions. Get comfortable with asking them (practice!) and be ready to ask follow up questions to their response. You want to be prepared when the interviewer asks, “What questions do you have?”

How do my qualifications compare to your ideal candidate?

Recruiters and hiring managers will have some reservations about almost every candidate. Your goal with this question is to have those reservations expressed so that you have the opportunity to address them. This is a great way to clear up any misgivings. If you have reviewed the job posting you should be familiar with any requirements where your experience is shallow. Be ready to address any concerns.

Does the organization promote from within?  What would be my potential for advancement?

Most everyone sees a career path for themselves. This is the time to discover if the position and the organization will embrace advancement and has other opportunities; the time to find out if their work hierarchy will match your career goals.

How would you describe the company culture?

Cultural fit is as important as job duties. And if you’re sitting at an agency, you’ve got two cultures to consider – the agency and the contractor you actually work for. If you’re a team player you want an organization that promotes team work. If social interaction is important you might want to hear that the organization has social events for their employees. Dig a bit to get them to talk freely about the work environment.

How will this role impact the mission and the organization?

Many cleared professionals today want more than just a job; they want to make a contribution to their team, the agency and/or company and the mission. If having an impact is important to you, ask this question to fully understand your role.

What does a typical day involve?

You’ve seen the job description, but it’s valuable to know how those duties play out day-to-day.  If you don’t like meetings and find out this will be 50% of your day, it gives you something to think about. The same goes for all areas of responsibility.

Would this job come with schedule flexibility?

More and more companies realize that work/life balance is important to candidates. If it’s important to you, now is the time to find out if it’s a perk that’s embraced. Be prepared to discuss what kind of flexibility you desire.

Could we go over company benefits?

Some companies post their standard benefits on their web site, but it’s certainly not a universal practice. When considering an offer you want to look at the full compensation package incuding benefits, not just the salary the company offers. For some cleared job seekers the benefits are almost as important as the salary. It’s nice to get these details before receiving an offer, so you have more time to weight the pros and cons.

What are next steps?

This accomplishes two things: It reinforces your interest in the position and it gives you their hiring timeline. Waiting for an interview response is stressful, but if you know their timing goals you can relax a bit while waiting for their timeline to play out.

When should I follow up and with whom?

This gives you a mutually agreed upon process for following up.

These questions are obviously generic to most any cleared position or company. You should also fully review the job posting and gather your thoughts on anything more you’d like to know about specific duties and other concerns you may have.

Getting the interview is a critical step in the process and means that you’ve whittled your competition down significantly. Prepare for the interview and be ready to present your best self.



This entry was posted on Thursday, January 24, 2019 9:25 pm

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