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Monday, March 15, 2010

Job Interview: What to ask When it's Over

Alot of people come to the end of the interview and are asked, "Do you have any questions for us?"

Most say 'no'. This is a mistake. To increase your chances of being called back for a second interview, ask questions!

It not only shows your interest in the company/position, but can help you determine if the roll is right for you.

Some questions from a recent CareerBuilder article are:

What do you see ahead for your company in the next five years?

How do you see the future for this industry?

What do you consider to be your firm's most important assets?

What can you tell me about your new product or plans for growth?

How do you rate your competition? The position's history Asking about why the position is vacant can provide insight into the company and the potential for advancement. According to Annie Stevens and Greg Gostanian, managing partners at executive and career development firm ClearRock, good questions include:

What happened to the last person who held this job?

What were the major strengths and weaknesses of the last person who held this job?

What types of skills do you NOT already have onboard that you're looking to fill with a new hire? The department Asking about your department's workers and role in the company can help you understand more about the company's culture and hierarchy. Stanford suggests asking:

What is the overall structure of the company and how does your department fit the structure?

What are the career paths in this department?

What have been the department's successes in the last couple of years?

How do you view your group/division/department? The job's responsibilities To avoid any confusion later on, it pays to gain a solid understanding of the position. FGP International's Eddie Payne recommends inquiring:

What would you consider to be the most important aspects of this job?

What are the skills and attributes you value most for someone being hired for this position?

Where have successful employees previously in this position progressed to within the company?

Could you describe a typical day or week in this position? The typical client or customer I would be dealing with? The expectations To determine how and when you will evaluated, Payne recommend advises asking:

What are the most immediate challenges of the position that need to be addressed in the first three months?

What are the performance expectations of this position over the first 12 months?

How will I be evaluated at XYZ company, and how often? The next steps At the end of the interview, don't forget to ask:

What are the next steps in the interview process?

Hope that helps!



  1. I completely agree. Nothing shows interest in the job (and potentially your future boss) quite like interviewing the interviewer.

    Asking some thoughtful questions that are specific to the position, the company, or the person that you are speaking with will cause them to remember you more - especially since this is usually at the end of the meeting and we tend to remember details closer to the begining and the endindg of these kinds of encounters. If your potential future boss is part of the conversation, tailor some questions to them specifically to try and figure out if their approach to managing people is compatible with what YOU want. Consider asking the following:

    How would you describe your approach to managing/supervising people?

    How would you describe your relationship with your boss?

    What gets you excited and passionate about what you do? What turns you off?

    Thanks for this article, Ian!

    -Gavin Carothers