When most people think of a job interview, they tend to worry most about what questions they might be asked at the interview. It is important, of course, to anticipate what sort of questions one might be asked. However, just as important is preparing valuable questions for you to ask the interviewer.
That being said, the important questions to ask are not necessarily the ones that are foremost in your mind. Everybody wants to know how much they will be paid, and what hours they will have to work, but asking those questions will likely make a bad impression. Leave it to the interviewer to eventually get to the issue of payment and working hours.
Instead of sending the message that your number one concern is money, it is better to ask questions that will send a positive message to the interviewer.
Be Strategic, Not Selfish
Your questions should show that you are interested in the following:
- what the company’s goals and beliefs are
- how your talents can be put to use in the company
- whether the work involved is suitable for you
- whether the company environment is a match for you
- whether the company is a good place in general for employees
What is the company’s mission statement?
In order to know whether you will enjoy working at a given company, it is important to know the philosophy that the business is based on. You want to know what exactly they are trying to achieve, and their strategy for achieving their goal.
For example, if the interviewer responds to this question by saying that their mission is to sell as many of their products as they can, no matter what it takes, you have just received valuable information. Such a mindset can hardly be called customer-focused or service-focused, and you may decide that such an environment is not for you. It may sound to you that you will be forced to act in ways that go against your grain, all in the name of making more sales.
What exactly will your job role and duties be?
Not asking this question can lead to disaster. If you don’t ask, and the interviewer does not make it clear what all your duties will be, you may end up in a position that you do not like at all. If your dream is to be some sort of hotshot bartender, mixing drinks and chatting up the ladies, do you want to find out later that you have to spend two hours every night vacuuming carpets, scrubbing floors and toilets, and hauling out the garbage?
Furthermore, you will have wasted time, time that could have been spent looking for the right job for you, and time that could have been spent breaking yourself in at a job that you are actually excited about, a job where you can see something long-term ahead of you.
What is the turnover rate at the company?
Asking this question will give you an idea of the level of employee satisfaction at the company. You want to be a satisfied employee, right? If you find out that the average employee lasts less than a year, that could be a warning sign that in this job there is one, or more likely more than one thing, that is far from desirable.
Asking these three questions will greatly increase your chances of being satisfied with your new job. It also shows the interviewer that you’re not there to simply tell them what they want to hear. It shows you want the potential new partnership to be a long-term one.