At some point in the interview most hiring managers will say, “So, do you have any questions for me?” Your answer should be an emphatic, “Yes!” Even if the hiring manager does not ask if you have questions, it is important to ask your questions anyway. Sometimes the questions you ask will be the reason the hiring manager decides he wants to offer you a job.
Think for a moment about one of President Kennedy’s most famous statements. It was: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Now insert the word company instead of country. There you have it: ask what you can do for the company style questions.
Jim Taylor, a job seeker was so enthused about this concept that he wrote down a list of about 15 what you can do for the company style questions. During an interview for a sales position the hiring manager asked, “Do you have any questions for me?”
Jim glanced at his list and said, “As a matter of fact I do.”
The hiring manager said, “May I see that list?”
He perused Jim’s list and said, “This is great! I have not interviewed anyone who is so prepared. I want you to come back and interview with my boss.”
Jim had not even asked his questions yet!
Below is a list of sample what can you do for the company style questions. Use these sample questions for ideas to develop your own list of questions. Write your questions down and bring them with you to the interview. Reference the questions during your interview; you will appear organized and prepared. Plus you will ensure you learn important information that may help you decide whether or not to accept an offer!
Questions to ask early in the interview:
ü Please describe the position in more detail.
ü What exactly do you want a new employee to accomplish?
ü Please describe the most important qualities and key skills you want a new employee to possess.
When you ask the above questions early in the interview you will learn important information to help you answer the hiring manager’s questions. You will be able to put your answers in context to the hiring manager’s situation.
Questions to ask during the interview:
ü What is the first problem or task that needs my attention? Why is this important?
ü What will be my major responsibilities?
ü What effect will my accomplishment of these responsibilities have on the bottom line of the company? On the department? On you?
ü How have these responsibilities/problems been handled to date?
ü When it is time for my review, what responsibilities hold the most weight?
When you ask the above questions during the interview you will distinguish yourself from other candidates. These questions demonstrate your interest in solving business challenges and achieving results.
Note the use of the word my. Asking the questions in this manner makes the assumption you are already on the job which causes the hiring manager to think about you as already being hired.
Questions to ask towards the end of the interview:
ü I am very enthused about this opportunity, how will you make a decision from here?
ü What reasons can you think of not to hire me?
When you ask the above questions towards the end of the interview you will learn the likelihood of advancing to the next step or receiving an offer. If the hiring manager is not planning to ask you to the next step of his interview process you will be able to address his reasons in person and potentially keep yourself in the running.