Almost every interview ends with “What questions do you have for me?” By now, you know you need to ask questions. But which ones are the most beneficial for you to ask?
Asking the right questions not only makes you look good, but it can also make it easier for you to spot red flags when it comes to the job you're interviewing for.
I ask these three questions after every interview I have. By doing so, I always get a better feel of both the company and what it'd be like to take on the role I'm hustling for.
1."What strengths do I need in order to be successful in this position?"
This is my favorite question to ask. It's so telling, and it has saved me. A person will either list qualities you've covered and give you some reassurance that the interview is going well, or he or she will list a strength he or she thinks you might not have.
Your interviewer has a picture in his or her mind of the person he or she wants to hire. If he or she names a strength you haven't addressed, you can follow up with, "I'm really glad to hear you say this position requires (this trait). I feel like I've really developed that skill by ..."
2. "Is this a new position, or would I be filling someone else's shoes?"
Your interviewer will answer this question in one of the following ways. Each answer provides you with things to consider.
If it's a new position:
A new position makes you the guinea pig. The company may not know exactly what it wants you to do, and it probably doesn't have a true bearing on what a realistic workload is.
It's worth asking who would manage you and what departments you'd work with. Being the new employee everyone dumps the tasks he or she doesn't like on isn't fun. I'd also recommend following up by asking what your first few weeks of work will look like. This will give you an idea of what kinds of projects the company has in mind for you, and the scope of those projects.
If you'd be filling the role of someone who got promoted internally:
This is generally a good sign: Upward mobility not only means there are opportunities for growth, but it also means that the person you'd be replacing was happy enough to stick around.
Follow up with whether or not you'd be working with your replacement. Someone who has already had your job is more likely to manage you well.
If you'd be replacing someone who moved on to another opportunity:
Tread with caution here: This can mean whoever you're replacing was miserable enough to jump ship.
There are legitimate reasons why one would leave a job. These include career goals, more pay, commute time, etc.
But this could also be a sign of a toxic workplace or manager. Ultimately, this person left.
Does your interviewer deliver this news with positive things to say about the former co-worker? Or does he or she keep the description short?
If it feels like there may be something he or she isn't telling you, it's probably not a good sign.
3. "What do you like about working here?"
It's highly unlikely your interviewer will say anything negative here. (If he or she does, I suggest you run.)
But this opens the door for you to read between the lines. Does your interviewer gush about the workplace, or does he or she stick to a specific job opportunity or the mission statement of the company?
I usually take note if my interviewer says that he or she “learned a lot.” This isn't always a good thing. Trust your gut.
Interviewing is a two-way street. It's so important to take advantage of the only time you truly have control over the conversation.
I have too many friends who landed what they thought were their dream jobs, only to discover a few weeks in that their workplaces weren't all they were cracked up to be.
Read Glassdoor reviews with a grain of salt. Instead, ask questions in order to get to know your potential co-workers. It'll pay off.