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10 questions you should ask the interviewer
11:46am Wednesday 8th June 2011
You bought a new suit and you are ready for the interview. Also your CV is flawless and you even seem great on paper. Now, for the last piece of the successful job search puzzle you need to impress them at the interview.
How do you do it? Try asking questions. Besides showing your interest in the position and the company, asking questions gives you an active role in the interview and lets you steer the interview into areas where you shine.
To make sure your next interview is as smooth as your freshly pressed suit, try these 10 questions on for size:
"What type of growth and advancement opportunities does this position and the company offer?"
This tells the interviewer that you have a long-term vision for your professional future and that you're not just looking for a paycheque; you're looking to secure a career.
"How do you see me benefiting the company?"
Finding out why you were selected out of possibly hundreds of other candidates gives you a chance to expand on the qualities that caught their eye, further making the case for your hire.
"What exactly are the job responsibilities?"
Job ads usually list the general areas of responsibility for a position. It's always good to confirm what the actual duties will be. You don't want to start your new job as an engineer and find out you're responsible for the weekly doughnut run.
"What would my first project be if I'm hired?"
This will give you a specific idea of what you can expect when you walk into the office that first day after being hired. It also can give you a heads up as to what will be expected of you, allowing you to build on those attributes during the interview.
"Who will evaluate me if I'm hired?"
Ask this question, and you'll discern the company and departmental structure under which you will be working. For instance, will you report directly to the vice president or will there be a succession of middle managers between you?
"Are continuing education and professional training stressed?"
This shows your willingness to learn new skills and adapt to new challenges or initiatives. Adaptability is very important in today's changing economy and could be key to retaining your job in a reorganisation.
"What is the company's culture?"
This will reveal those "intangibles" of a company that have nothing to do with professional experience or required education. If you need a traditional, office/cube environment to stay focused and get the job done, a more creativity-driven workplace which allows music streaming from computers, nerf hoop tournaments and ultraflexible schedules may not be conducive to your productivity.
"Why did you choose this company?"
Hearing why a current employee opted to work at the firm can give you some insight into some of the strengths and opportunities within the organisation.
"When will a decision be made on the successful candidate?"
Knowing this helps you determine the timing of your interview follow-up activities.
"May I contact you if I have other questions?"
It's always good to wrap up the interview with this question. It keeps the door open for further communication, giving you one last chance to make your case.