If you’re looking for a new career, chances are you’re ready to answer some tough interview questions. But are you prepared to ask a few of your own?
Keeping your cool in the hot seat is half the battle. But all too often, job-seekers miss an opportunity to show off their confidence and communication skills. By asking a few questions of your own, you’ll go a long way toward making a potentially awkward interview more enjoyable for everyone involved. It could also be the deciding factor that tips the scale in your favor when a hiring decision is made.
Here are four questions you can ask when your interviewer inevitably says, “And now, do you have any questions for us?”
1. How would you describe the ideal person for this position?
The job listing you answered probably listed the duties of the position. But this question gives your interviewer a chance to elaborate on these points and to add his or her own opinions about who would be the best person for the job. As your interviewer mentions specific qualities and experience, look for ways to correlate them to concrete examples from your own work history. Find the opportunity to say, for example, “You’re hoping for someone with healthcare experience for this role? In my last position I worked in a medical office where I …”
2. How does this position support you and your department?
Give the interviewer a chance to move the conversation from you and your work history to him (or her) and the needs of the company. Doing this will leave the impression that you are seeking to be a part of a larger team, to lend a hand and help with the company mission—not simply looking out for your own best interests.
3. What is the salary for this position?
Too many interviewees are afraid to talk turkey in the job interview. This is your life and your career on the line here, so this is actually the perfect time to bring up compensation. You don’t want your interviewer to think it’s the only thing on your mind, so make sure it’s one of the last things you discuss. A good way to bring it up would be, “Money is not my sole consideration, but may I ask about the salary range?” Asking takes guts, sure, but confidence is a trait that could very well land you an attractive offer.
4. Is there something missing from my qualifications that might mean I’m not the best person for this job?
This is a scary question to ask. But it will give you the opportunity to find out right away what reservations (if any) the interviewer has about your candidacy. As you probably already know, the worst part not being chosen for a job is usually the uncertainty over exactly why you weren’t selected. But this question isn’t just about giving you peace of mind if you don’t land the job. It also gives you a chance to demonstrate that you can take constructive criticism. And if you’re lucky, the interviewer might mention something—specific work experience, for example—that you actually DO have, and that he or she simply didn’t see listed on your resume.