When going on an interview, it’s always best to prepare ahead of time. You want to make sure you’re wearing the proper clothing, that you have reliable transportation, your resume is printed, and that you prepare for questions ahead of time, including what’s your strength and weakness, why you’re a great fit for the company, and what type of experience you have with the job in question. However, when the interviewer asks you if you have any questions, this is an opportunity to pick their brains and get some things answered. Take advantage of this and consider asking the following questions:
- What type of atmosphere does the company have? Some places are laid back and casual like a startup and others are more conservative with intense office politics and business casual attire. You’re going to want to know what to expect ahead of time so that’s it’s not such a big shock to you if/when you get the job.
- What are the company’s goals this year and how does this position play a part?You just might get some brownie points on this question. Every company has goals and it’s good to know how your position will play a part in it. Maybe they’re looking for someone to play a major role which will require long hours at the office or they may be searching for a supporting role, someone who can help out at any capacity. You’ll want to compare how that fits in with your goals as well.
- When do you anticipate this position starting?This may be a question you already have gotten answered in the process of the interview but if not, ask the interviewer when they anticipate on starting the position. If you’re currently working, you will want I give your current employer at least two weeks notice. If you’re out of work at the moment, you’ll have an idea of when to expect to hear something about the position.
- Is this a long term position? If you’re looking for a job you can stay at for a long time, you’ll want to know how long the company anticipates having this position open. Maybe it’s only temporary or seasonal, in which case you may have to begin searching for another job sooner than you think. You decide whether the position’s length will be an issue or not.
- What type of benefits are offered? Again, this may be something that’s already been answered over the course of the interview, but if it’s not, you should certainly ask. Will you be offered medical, dental, and vision? Does the company have a 401(K) matching program you can participate in? How many sick days and vacation days do you get? When are all of these benefits accessible to you? Is it immediately, after a probationary period, or after a year of being with the company?
- Is there a telecommute option? Obviously if you’re not interested in telecommuting, you can skip this question. However, many people are enjoying the option of working from home, and some companies are giving this option to their employees. You may be able to get your work done using your home computer and cell phone, but it’s nice to know ahead of time. If there is an option, ask how many days a week, if there’s additional software or technology you would need to be successful.
- Is there overtime? While some companies operate on a strict 9-5 schedule, there are others that may have the opportunity to collect overtime for staying after your normal working hours. If the budget is tight, overtime may not be possible. However, it’s great to ask, and you may be able to add some extra money on your paychecks. Which brings us to our last question.
- What is the starting salary and is there room for growth? This is really 2 questions, but heavy hitters for sure. It’s not rude to ask, as we all have expectations and a lifestyle to maintain. The starting salary could either surprise you or not phase you. It’s better to know before you get the job than when you get your first paycheck. Also, if you’re looking to grow in your role at the company, you should know if that’s possible. With some positions, you can find yourself stuck in the same place for years to come. If that works for you, fine. If you’re interested in growing and the opportunities aren’t there, you should look elsewhere for sure.