Goals to Achieve During Interview & Questions
1. Make sure the employer has no reservations about me.
2. Demonstrate my interest in the employer.
3. Find out if I feel the employer is right for me.
Questions to Ask During Interview
1. What have you enjoyed most about working here? This question allows the interviewer to connect with you on a more personal level, sharing his or her feelings. The answer will also give you unique insight into how satisfied people are with their jobs there. If the interviewer is pained to come up with an answer to your question, it’s a big red flag. 1b. What do you feel are the most challenging aspects of this job?
2a. What skills and experiences would make an ideal candidate? This is a great open-ended question that will have the interviewer put his or her cards on the table and state exactly what the employer is looking for. If the interviewer mentions something you didn’t cover yet, now is your chance.
2b. What constitutes success at this position and this firm or nonprofit? This question shows your interest in being successful there, and the answer will show you both how to get ahead and whether it is a good fit for you.
2c. Do you have any hesitations about my qualifications? I love this question because it’s gutsy. Also, you’ll show that you’re confident in your skills and abilities.
3. What is the next step in the process? This is the essential last question and one you should definitely ask. It shows that you’re interested in moving along in the process and invites the interviewer to tell you how many people are in the running for the position.
Only ask up to three questions. Here are some other suggestions:
What is the single largest problem facing your staff and would I be in a position to help you solve this problem? This question not only shows that you are immediately thinking about how you can help the team, it also encourages the interviewer to envision you working at the position.
Do you offer continuing education and professional training? This is a great positioning question, showing that you are interested in expanding your knowledge and ultimately growing with the employer.
Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with? Notice how the question is phrased; it assumes you will get the job. This question also tells you about the people you will interact with on a daily basis, so listen to the answer closely.
What can you tell me about your new products or plans for growth? This question should be customized for your particular needs. Do your homework on the employer’s site beforehand and mention a new product or service it’s launching to demonstrate your research and interest. The answer to the question will give you a good idea of where the employer is headed.
Why is this position open and/or why did the predecessor leave? This seemingly straightforward question will tell you whether that person was promoted or fired or if he/she quit or retired. That, in turn, will provide a clue to whether: there’s a chance for advancement, employees are unhappy, the place is in turmoil or the employer has workers around your age.
What are your expectations for this role in the next 3-6 months and/or a year?
What do you feel are the most challenging aspects of this job?
1. What exactly does this company value the most, and how do you think my work for you will further these values?
2. What kinds of processes are in place to help me work collaboratively?
3. In what area could your team use a little polishing?
4. What’s the most important thing I can accomplish in the first 60 days?
5. Can you give me some examples of the most and least desirable aspects of the company’s culture?
6. Am I going to be a mentor or will I be mentored?
7. How will you judge my success? What will have happened six months from now that will demonstrate that I have met your expectations?
8. This job sounds like something I’d really like to do — is there a fit here?
9. Now that we’ve talked about my qualifications and the job, do you have any concerns about my being successful in this position?
1. Anything that can be answered by a Google search.
2. Changes to job description, salary, schedule.
3. Gossip about the organization, or bad news/lawsuits, etc.
4. Questions about the interviewer’s background (territorial red flag & they might be jsut a proxy anyway).
5. Never ask about pay, time off or benefits.
6. Never ask, about background checks.
7. Never ask, “what does your company do?” Oh wow, really?
8. Never ask about promotion or about how long you have to wait to shift positions.
9. Never ask if the organization monitors email, Internet, etc.