At one point during a job interview, a recruiter will ask you if you have any questions. This is usually done at the end of the interview and is a good opportunity for an interviewer to learn something more about you.
However, although it might seem benign, this question section can be detrimental for your success. Candidates that have no questions to ask usually seem disinterested. Even worse, they might not have thought about any questions which make them look even more unprofessional.
Having an opportunity to ask some questions is very important for you. Not only will you look more interested in the job, but you can also learn some new things about the position and whether this is the right thing for you.
Here are some of the best questions you can ask recruiters during a job interview
1) How long has the position been open?
This is something that you should always ask. If the position has been open for a long time, this shows that either the manager is too picky or that no one wants the job. With this question, you might also discover that the position is constantly open indicating there are lots of people coming or going from the company which is never a good sign. On the other hand, if the position just opened, you might want to relax a bit and to wait for all the candidates to be interviewed. If you’re instantly accepted, this might be a bad sign as it may indicate they are eager for a workforce.
2) What is the reason behind the open position?
If you had any doubts previously, this question can give you some additional insights. If the company is losing lots of employees, recruiters will certainly never mention this. Still, through their reaction, you can conclude whether or not the job opening is due to a bad situation in the company. Ideally, the company is growing so they need more people or the previous employee got a promotion. Both of these answers are good signs and can tell you that this is the right job for you.
3) Who will I be working with/under
Now, if you’re new to the industry, asking this question probably won’t give you any insights. But, if you know the people working in this company, you can decide whether or not you wish to work under this superior. The same goes for the team. Given that you will be cooperating with these individuals on a daily basis, it is much better if you know who you’re dealing with. Who knows; this can also be a good learning opportunity if you get the right mentor. Oftentimes, the manager will attend the meeting so you will likely have an opportunity to meet him or her face to face. So, even if you don’t know much about the company or its employees, you might learn something new during the job interview.
4) What are the main skills needed for the job?
One of the main reasons candidates don’t succeed at a new job is because they’re not qualified enough. Although you might be eager to start working in a new organization, that doesn’t mean you should accept any type of job. In fact, a certain type of experience can even pose a problem for your career if you’re situated in a smaller city. By accepting a job you’re not suitable for, you will only be losing time. No one benefits from this so it’s better to ask in advance and see if you’re the right person. On the other hand, if you think that you got most of the skills required, you can focus on them during the future interviews for the company.
5) What kind of results are expected from me?
Like with skills, it is very important to know what a company is expecting from you. If you have the necessary skills and experience but you’re uncertain if you can meet the demands, you should at least be aware of this. Company’s requirements can pose a problem for you if you’re unable to deal with the workload but it can also be a good opportunity to get a bigger paycheck. Professionals who have lots of expertise can use this information to their advantage as they negotiate the compensation package and other benefits.
6) What can you tell me about the company?
In most cases, the interview with a recruiter is just the first step of the process. Afterward, you will have a talk with the manager and get some additional information. Nevertheless, it is much better if you get a head start. Learn more about the company, their current growth (or lack thereof), market share and all other things that can show whether this is the right environment for you. If you have several offers at the same time, it is very important to sift through the companies and see which job has the best potential.
7) What is the interview process?
You should also learn how the next interview will look like. This will give you some extra time to prepare, to learn about potential mishaps and all the issues that might cost you the job.
8) How did the recruiter get your name?
If a recruiter approached you without you applying for a job, it is very important to know how he or she learned about you. Did someone recommend you? Have they found you via a social network? Asking this question is very important for your future job hunt. For example, if you have several social profiles and everyone is reaching you via Linkedin, this means you should professionally focus on this network and pay more attention to what you’re posting. If you got recommended by an old employer, it would be wise to call the company and thank them for their assistance. Who knows; they might recommend you for some future jobs as well!
9) Is there a chance for promotion?
Most candidates would like to know more about the potential for promotion. And who can blame them? If you get stuck on a dead-end job, this will be bad for your career. Companies that offer possibilities for promotion are usually bigger organizations with lots of different departments. Not only will this allow you to grow within the company and increase your paycheck but it will also be good for your resume. This is especially important if you applied for an entry position.
10) What is the compensation package?
One of the most important questions, one that you should ask from the get-go, is about the compensation package. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t only be interested in the paycheck but also all the benefits that the job is bringing. In certain professions, bonuses can be quite high so that is definitely something you should look into. Asking about the compensation is also a professional thing to do. It shows that the other companies are looking for your services and that you have to measure what is your best option. If a candidate doesn’t ask this, it will be easy for the recruiter to presume that a person doesn’t have any other option which can be tricky.
Although young job candidates find interviews to be annoying or stressful, they are a great chance to learn more about a company.
Every information that you learn can be used to your advantage to make the best out of it. You should try to learn more about the company, the team, job requirements as well as your potential paycheck. This is especially important for candidates that have several offers in front of them.