It is traditionally a good practice to come up with a list of questions prior to your interview to ask when you are put on the spot. But which questions do you ask so that you do not lose your confidence? In a high-stress situation like an interview, it is easy to get thrown off by such a simple question. Having a plan of attack going into the situation will help ease your way into a smooth finish with the hiring manager.
Do Your Research – Find the Right Questions
There are many things you could ask a hiring manager, but a strong candidate will ask the right questions. Getting past the surface-level questions and into the operational aspects of the business will show that you are starting to see yourself in the role – which will also give the hiring manager an opportunity to learn more about your thought process.
Asking questions like, “What are some challenges you’ve faced with employees in this role in the past?” gives the hiring manager an opportunity to think about problems they have faced and give you insight into how to succeed in the role. It also provides guidance on how you might respond to challenges in the workplace and demonstrate your problem-solving skills. These questions are essential to get your employer thinking about how you would operate on their team.
Culture Fit is Important
Being the perfect fit for a position is more than meeting the qualifications on paper. It is also about your future coworkers and the company culture. If you enjoy a more structured culture with lots of policies and procedures, an office that embraces casual dress every day and a laissez-faire attitude may not be the best fit. Unless you delve further into company-specific questions you could be surprised later during your employment that you aren’t a perfect fit for the position or company.
Asking questions like, “What have you enjoyed most about working here?” gives you an opportunity to test out whether or not the culture is a good fit for who you are both as a person and an employee. Questions under this category also give the hiring manager an opportunity to see if you would fit in with his/her current employees and help work to achieve their desired work atmosphere and company goals. Questions like this are especially important if you are interviewing at a startup or a new franchise, as the hiring manager is looking for the best of the best to give their company a great head start.
A Strong Close
Finally, you will want to close the interview with questions that show that you are proactive about getting your hands dirty and starting the job. A favorite is, “Are there any materials I can look at that will give me a head start before the first day?” or “Do you offer any continuing education or training?” These inquiries show that you are ready to dive head first into your employment and that you will work hard to be the best employee that you can be. They also help to wrap up your interview by looking to the future.
When you finally reach that last portion of your interview, if you remember your three goals of Connect, Culture, and Close, you will have set yourself up for a successful interview and potential employment.