Why ask questions to your potential employer?
It is always advised that an interview candidate must use the opportunity bestowed upon them by the question, “Do you like to ask something?”. This is a very rare opportunity one gets to ask directly to the hiring official or to the potential employer about the nuances and work culture at the company. Hence, one should not turn down this chance. Rather, interview candidates must be better prepared with questions (preplanned or impromptu). Here we are exploring why one should not miss this opportunity.
➢ Asking in detail the doubts of your hiring official or employer is the best chance you have got to express yourself subtly yet effectively. You can make use of this chance to impress the interview board by exhibiting the values and interests you have got.
➢ The questions you ask talk volumes about your intelligence and creativity. To put it out clearly, there are different ways in which you can present your case. Phrasing your questions in such a manner that you can extract the information yet not being rude or offensive is very important. This establishes your interest in the job position offered.
➢ The interview is a two-way street. It is not wise to assume that it is you and you only who is going to answer. Establishing a healthy conversation may help you to increase the chances of you getting the opportunity to work with the company. By virtue of asking questions, you are establishing the point that you had done enough homework and research before you appeared before the interview board. There is no better way to communicate to the hiring official that you are a committed and dedicated candidate, and hence, it will be easy for you to present yourself as the best candidate.
➢ On the flip side, it will be considered a bad impression if you do not have any questions to ask. This may be considered as disinterest or even a lack of preparation.
Questions, Intentions, and Reasonings
1. What is the company’s outreach audience?
This question is important in the sense that this paves the way for the interviewer to discuss the larger goals of the company. This, in fact, is the best strategic way for you to ensure that you get to know the not so explicit aims of the company. Alongside, this question is advisable because you may get a chance to express your agreement and alignment with the goals of the company. Undoubtedly, this gives you a competitive edge over other candidates.
2. What is the work culture of this company like?
This question is beneficial in two different ways. The crucial reason why you should ask this question is that it is important for you to know in detail how the work environment of the company spans out. Needless to say, the choice of joining or not joining is very crucial in your career development. Hence, having full knowledge about the company’s work culture is unavoidable. You can make a decision for yourself by imagining you fitting into the role. Simultaneously, the company will get to know from your follow-up the question of whether you are actually interested or not.
3. Who would I be working alongside?
This question may seem not so important, but in reality, it is not. This question opens up the discussion on the prospective team you are going to work with. Implicitly, this question asks your potential employer to open up about your daily activities. It is vital that you get to know in advance the work schedule, team, and hierarchy before you sign up your commitment. There should not be a place for regret.
4. How is success and accomplishments enumerated in this job position?
This is one subtle way to ask your potential employer about the performance evaluation at the company. This will help you to prioritize your next phase of the selection process, adapting to the requirements of the company. This question is suggested for the reason that it can give an impression to the interviewer that you are interested in aligning yourself to the goals and work culture of the company. Alongside, if you can pull off a supplementary conversation, you can mention those areas where you excelled in the previous job role, which synchronizes with the expectations of the new job position.
5. What could be the challenges that I may have to face at this job position?
This question, as it is evident, may result in the employer opening up about the job details. This brings you a great opportunity to express yourself by saying that you had faced similar constraints at your previous company, but you successfully managed to overcome them. There are high chances that the employer will say in detail the job specifications without intentionally hiding anything from you. Hence, this question is straightforward and highly rewarding.
6. What do you expect from an employer at this job position in the first three months in terms of their accomplishments?
This question enables you to bring the discussion to a more practical plane. The company goals and expectations are important, but it is crucial that you break it down to your weekly goals and monthly goals. This is where you could find yourself relatable or not. On top of this, this is the sole way for you to measure if the goals are attainable and realistic.
7. What are the chances of advancement from this job position?
There are two sides to this question. There is a possibility that the employer may not like this as they do not expect to think about promotion and view this position as just a stepping stone. But on the other side, you are exhibiting the fundamental characteristics of ambition and plans for the future. This gives back a positive vibe about your future plans and belief in yourself about taking new responsibilities and higher risks. This holds the potential for a reward in terms of a positive impression.
In short, you can select this question after carefully judging the tone of the interviewer as no one wants to lose out on a question you ask.
8. Are there any elements that I could explain from my end so as to make the decision process easier?
This question exposes your interest in the job. That is the first fruit you will get from this. Alongside, you are making a soft diplomatic approach to convince the employer that you are ticking all the boxes and maybe the best fit they can have. It is beyond doubt that your question expresses your commitment, helpful mind, and cooperation.
9. Can I know more about the company’s culture?
The intention behind the question is straightforward. This is your communication on your engagements. You are conveying to your potential employer that you are ready to cooperate in the company, and you are enthusiastic. It can also be interpreted that you are ready to do some homework before you get into the position, and you are ready to do your bit of preparation. In short, this question can stiffen your candidateship for the position.
10. Can I know if this job position offers an opportunity for continued learning?
Knowing more about the learning process at the organization has an advantage for your own career path. Additionally, this hints to the prospective employer that you are a learning enthusiast and are willing to spend time to be better at the position. This is, in fact, something that all employers are looking forward to from their employees. Hence, even if it is the case that there are no learning opportunities as such at the company level, the question invariably leaves an impression to your employee that you are ready to invest your time in acquiring new skills.
11. Can you tell me whom I should report to in this position?
This question is not just technical. This leaves a good impression that you wish to know more about the position. Needless to say, this is a great exhibition of your enthusiasm and interest in the position. This also leaves a mark you love to know more about the details than some superficial understanding.
12. When can I expect to hear from your side?
This question is relevant from your point of view. This helps to reduce the confusion in the air when it is uncertain about the date at which you are getting confirmation about the job position. It is for sure that no one prefers to be in the phase of doubt.
13. Can you tell me about the further steps in the selection process?
This question to the potential employer will help you to understand the plans of the company. You will, most probably, get to know if there is any follow-up interview. It is always preferred to know more about the upcoming schedule so that you can better present yourself after some homework. Alongside, you will probably know about the number of candidates they are interviewing.
14. What does it require from an employee to be successful in this job role?
This question, apart from others, is a very general one. This question is an implicit yet open invitation for the hiring officials to open up about the company’s expectations beyond what is said by the official. Also, this question leaves an impression that you are interested beyond the salary, other perks, and promotion opportunities.
Themes/ questions to be avoided
In an interview process, it is better not to bring out the topic of salary from your end. There are a few possible solutions to this. One thing you can do is to do a little bit of research about the salary range for similar positions in the industry. This will give you the necessary insights for you to negotiate your salary later when the topic is introduced. It is also preferred to set aside this topic for post-interview discussion or maybe after the selection process is complete. Giving an impression that you are too focused on salary even if it is your top priority will not reap benefits.
● Benefits and perks
This situation is very similar to the case of salary. The entire interview process is to find if you can fulfill the goals bestowed upon you by the company if selected. Focusing too much on the flip side will dilute the intentions of the interview. This is not to undermine the importance of discussing things related to transport, health, or insurance. This can be your top priority, but pulling it off after the interview process in the next stage will be advisable.
The pro tip, in this case, is to understand that no employer prefers to hire a candidate who sees the opportunity as just a stepping stone. Even though promotions are a crucial part of the job prospectus, you channelize the discussion about the collaborations, learning options, training, and so on. It is advisable not to send a message that you are too ambitious and less focused.
● Off days schedule
The trade-off here is with your commitment. The interview is the process where you are presenting yourself. Hence, no one will prefer the hiring officials to have such an impression that you are less dedicated to the core values of work.
The key takeaway here is to convince yourself that it is not wise to consider this an optional opportunity. It is always preferred that you should do your background preparation, come up with intelligent and creative questions, and impress your employer to secure yourself the opportunity to work with the company.
There are two ways in which a good question operates. It is clear that the question part is the last opportunity you have got to impress the employer. Hence, it is to be handled with precision, confidence, and creativity. Alongside, a good question in this scenario sends out a strong message to the hiring official. It is about you being a good fit for the role, showing off your soft skills (especially communication skills), and your dedication.
Finally, it is not a bad idea to write down the questions you have planned. No preparation is over preparation. It is for sure that you do not prefer to have a guilt post-interview. Keep in mind the goal of this query session. It is nothing but to express yourself as a dedicated, committed, and abided by values person. And not to neglect, research