Ask anyone who’s looking for work right now and you’ll quickly learn that finding a job in this market is a challenge. Thanks to increased competition from online applications, the average candidate will apply to 27 job openings before getting their first interview.
Once you do land that coveted spot in the hiring process, you’ll need to make the most of the opportunity. Along with practicing your answers to common interview questions, the best way to do this is by preparing a few questions of your own.
Not sure what topics to bring up? Read on for ten of the best questions to ask a recruiter at the end of your interview.
Asking Interview Questions About the Position
If they do their job well, your interviewer will give you a thorough overview of the position in question. Even so, there are often a few details left to clarify at the end of the conversation.
As tempting as it might be, resist the urge to ask about salary specifics and benefits like health insurance at the first interview. Doing so can make interviewers feel like you’re more concerned with what you can get out of a job than what you can contribute. Ask big-picture questions like these instead.
1. What Does a Typical Day in This Position Involve?
Basic job descriptions are helpful, but they aren’t always the best indicator of day-to-day reality. Try to find out what a normal day, week, and month would look like for you.
What duties would you have to manage? Is there any potential for flexible or remote work? Would you regularly be traveling between different sites?
2. What Are the Most Challenging Responsibilities in This Role?
Showing hiring managers that you’re up to the challenge is a fantastic way to stand out. After all, 78% of them agree that enthusiasm influences hiring decisions. Finding out ahead of time which parts of the job are most difficult gives you an early opportunity to either exhibit your drive or decide that it isn’t a great fit.
3. Which Other Team Members Would I Be Working With?
Will someone in your position work closely with other team members, or is it a more independent role? Who would be your direct report? What is the culture and attitude within your specific department?
What Interview Questions to Ask About the Company
No matter how small the business is that you apply to, your role is only one part of a larger whole. As such, the organization you work for makes as much of a difference in job satisfaction as the position itself. Here are three questions that will give you a better idea of whether you’ll enjoy working in this environment.
4. What Is the Company’s Culture Like?
Most organizations publish some version of a mission statement on their website. To get a better idea of how they live out these values in everyday life, ask your interviewer to describe the company’s culture.
Do they engage in community service and volunteering? Are there employee initiatives and gatherings? What does the hiring manager like best about working there?
5. What Are the Organization’s Current Goals?
This question also gives you insight into how the company lives out its values. What are the business’s main priorities for the upcoming year? How will someone in your position support those goals?
6. How Does the Company Evaluate Performance?
Each company, and often each department within, values different key performance indicators (KPIs). Make sure to ask the hiring manager which ones pertain to your role and how they define “success”.
If you don’t work well under pressure but this business evaluates performance based on specific, difficult to achieve metrics, it may not be the right culture fit for you.
Best Interview Questions to Ask About the Future
Even if you don’t plan to stay with the same company for your whole career, being future-minded in an interview is always helpful. Not only does it help you appear more committed to an interviewer, but it also gives you insight into the company’s priorities and direction. When asking questions in this category, inquire about both your personal future and the organization’s future as a whole.
7. Where Do You See the Company and This Role in the Next Five Years?
If you hope to settle into a long-term position, make sure you agree with the direction the company is headed. Try to find out whether this position has the potential for future promotions or a tenure track. If you’re applying for a temp role, ask if the contract has the potential for renewal or a temp-to-hire option.
8. What Are the Options for Training and Development?
When asked about their top priorities in a job, the number one answer that most millennials give is the opportunity for growth.
If learning and growth are important to you, it’s crucial that whatever business you work for provides opportunities to develop new skills. Do employees get access to online training, in-person seminars, or specialty courses? Does the company encourage its employees to further their education or provide support for those pursuing a degree?
9. What Are the Next Steps?
Each business has its own expectations of interviewees after their first meeting. As such, finding out exactly what to do after interviewing can give you a leg up in the hiring process.
Ask your interviewer when you can expect to hear back from them, whether candidates have to go through multiple interviews, and how best to contact them if you don’t hear anything within the expected timeframe. If they give you their direct contact info, use that to send a thank-you note immediately after the interview.
Bonus Question: Is There Anything on My Resume That Concerns You?
Do you have an obvious gap in employment on your resume? Does it look like you’re over- or under-qualified on paper, when in reality, you’re an exact match for the position? Asking this question is your chance to clear up misunderstandings and turn perceived weaknesses into unique strengths.
Are You Asking Potential Employers the Right Interview Questions?
“Is there anything else you’d like to know?” is one of the most important interview questions a recruiter will ask. If you make sure to cover the ten topics listed above, you’ll stand out as a better candidate. And, just as importantly, you’ll also get a good idea of whether this position is the perfect fit.
Are you in the process of job hunting in New York, New Jersey, or Philadelphia? The experts at Innovo Staffing have already done some of the hard work for you. Search through dozens of open jobs on our site by location, title, or skills—the right opportunity could be just one application away.