Sounds like a simple question, right? Unfortunately, this interview question is one of the most misunderstood by job applicants in terms of purpose and importance, and it gets asked at almost every interview.
Why Ask the Interviewer Questions?
For two important reasons; first, it gives you a chance to gather information about the job and company, and secondly, it shows the interviewer your interest level and knowledge of the company.
A few well-thought-out questions about the company/position shows that you care enough to take the time to do research in preparation for the interview. It also indicates to the interviewer that you’re thinking about this company as more than “just another job” and have actually thought through what it might be like to work there.
What Type of Questions Should You Ask?
When considering questions to ask the interviewer, remember that you do not want to ask any questions that may be too bold, especially on the first interview. Try to avoid aggressive questions regarding salary and pay increases, and, don’t be overly concerned about vacation or sick time.
You’ll want to stick to questions that are job or company related. One of the best places to derive good questions is from your research. You may even want to phrase your question by stating a fact from your research first.
Mr. Jones, through my research I have learned that one of your most demanded services is cardiac rehabilitation, would my work be focused in that area?
As a rule, if you don’t know when the hiring decision will be made, you should ask the interviewer at the end of the interview. The interviewer will welcome your interest and enthusiasm regarding the position, plus you will be able to use the information for follow-up contact.
Sample Questions to Ask the Interviewer
• When will the hiring decision be made?
• Could you give me a brief outline of my typical day?
• Is this a new position?
• Are promotions based on seniority or performance?
• Who would I be reporting to?
• What do you like best about this company?
• What particular skills or traits are you looking for in this position?
• Would you tell me if the company has any plans to enter any new
markets or will be developing any new products?
• What type of advancement opportunities are available to someone
in this position?
• How would you describe the company’s typical employee?
So, remember, don’t underestimate your opportunity to ask the interviewer questions. View it as another opportunity within the interview process to “sell yourself”. You’re in control of the questions – what do you want them to say about you?