Have you ever dated someone that rarely communicated or talked when you all were together?
When this person is around their friends, they don't appear to be shy, yet when they are with you, it's always deadly quiet. When you show interest in someone, you want them to show an equal amount of interest in you. When they don't, you are left feeling unwanted and like they are not taking you as serious as you are taking them.
The same occurs between a job applicant and a company. Before you partner with a company, you have to go through the “dating" phase before you make it official (and change your whole Facebook status). In the job world, the dating phase is the interview. During the interview, the employer will give you more information on them and they will ask you questions. It is only proper and right that you return the favor and show interest in them by having questions.
Too often, I have interviewed people that may have done really well in answering my questions, but they failed in having prepared questions at the end. If an applicant doesn't have any questions for me, it is a total red flag. In my mind, it appears they either don't care enough to do research, or they're simply too lazy to do so. Either way, it can be a complete turnoff. Even more so, it is a red flag when someone asks questions that can easily be found in the job description or on the company website.
I know that sometimes it can be a struggle in finding educated questions to ask your desired employer. Trust me, I know. However, when the interviewer asks, “So, do you have any questions for me?" this is the time when the interview is in your hands. You are now given the opportunity to discuss whatever you want so that you can make the best decision in choosing your next employer (remember, you should be interviewing them as well).
So what kind of questions should you ask to stand out an interview?
I'm so happy you want to know. See below & #thankmelater.
- What does a typical day look like?
- What are the most immediate projects that someone in this position would be focused on?
- What are the biggest challenges that someone in this position would face?
- What attributes does someone need to be successful in this position?
- Do you expect the main responsibilities for this job to change in the near future?
- What are the most important things you'd like to see someone accomplish in the first 90 days on the job?
- Can you tell me about my direct reports? What are their strengths and their biggest challenges?
- What made you choose to join this company?
- What do you think is the best thing about working here?
- How long have you been with the company?
- Has your role changed since you started working at this company?
- How would you describe your managerial style?
- As a manager, what frustrates you most in regards to your employees and handling projects?
- How would you describe the company culture in 3 words?
- How would you describe the work environment here—is it more team-oriented or would it be more independent work?
- Has anyone on your staff been promoted recently? If so, what was the reason why this person was promoted?
- Where have successful employees previously in this position progressed to?
- Is this a new position?
- What are some things that the office does to promote team building and bonding?
- When can I expect a call back from you? & If I haven't heard from you by then, may I give you a call?
- Is there anything else I can provide you with that would be helpful?
BONUS TIPS: Always do extensive research before the interview. Prepare questions ahead of time and make sure you are not asking questions that can easily be found online. Also, always remember to follow-up after the interview.
If you are interviewing with someone who you hadn't be in contact with before, ask for their business card so you can send them a thank you note.
Get more career tips and tricks by visiting our xo Business section!