When applying for a job, getting that initial interview is always the most challenging part of the process because you’re competing against dozens or even hundreds of other candidates – many of whom have credentials just as good or better than yours.
However, once you’ve succeeded in getting that hard-to-secure interview, you prepare to answer the interviewer’s questions to the best of your ability.
The interview is over and you feel like you’ve killed it! You were prepared, you gave great answers, and you familiarized yourself with the company you hope to be your new employer. Then comes the dreaded question…”Do you have any questions for me?”
Yikes! What do you ask? You think it was all covered in the interview but you can’t say, “no”. That would make you look completely unprepared or give the impression that you weren’t listening. However, this happens all too frequently.
Monster.com says that asking questions in a job interview is a must.
So how do you know what to ask if you feel like everything was covered during your interview? Here are 5 boilerplate questions that will demonstrate you care and make you look prepared:
1. How do you define success in this position?
It requires the interviewer to tell you how you’re going to be judged, giving you the opportunity to address any of those points you may not have touched on in your interview.
2. Can you describe the organizational culture?
This requires the interviewer to share some detail that will help you determine if you’ll enjoy working at the company, regardless of the job responsibilities.
3. What are the greatest organizational priorities?
This question will help you better understand where the organizational challenges lay. What they say in the interview may not match the answer they provide to this question. The interview is often around the job or divisional priorities, not the organizational priorities. However, if this question was covered during the interview, ask what the interviewer believes should be the first 3 steps you might take to impact those priorities. This shows you were listening and allows you to address your qualifications in those three areas.
4. How do you see the responsibilities of this job evolving over the next couple of years?
This question implies that you intend to stay, which is what the company wants, while also demonstrating you are comfortable with change. Additionally, it will help you better understand the division or organization’s strategic vision.
5. What are the characteristics and attributes that are a MUST in the ideal candidate?
While the answers to this question are usually included in the job description, the attributes are often very generic. By asking this question, you’ll know what the hiring manager expects, not the HR manager or the person writing the job description.
There are plenty of other questions you can find online. What is most important is to have a list of questions before you go into the interview. If new questions arise during the meeting, it’s smart to have a pen so you can write them down, but at least you’ll have several good fall back questions if you need them.