When you attend a job interview, it’s a given that the employer is interviewing you for the job, but did it ever occur to you that you’re also interviewing the hiring manager? There are a lot of reasons you should be asking questions and not just answering them during your next job interview.
Asking questions provides you with information you’ll need to make your part of the decision, but it can also impress the hiring manager. A job interview should ideally be a conversation. When you ask questions about the job or the workplace, you show that you’re engaged, that you’re paying attention, and that you have good conversation skills. Showing off your communication skills in person is much better than simply pointing toward them on your resume and claiming that you have them. Occasionally a hiring manager will ask you to save your questions for the end of the interview, in which case you should respect the hiring manager’s wishes and not interrupt. Do keep them in mind and ask them at the end, however. Don’t take notes unless the hiring manager says you can; notepads tend to make people uncomfortable.
There are other skills you demonstrate by asking questions during an interview as well. You demonstrate that you’re well prepared, and that you’ve been thinking about the job. The ability to prepare in advance for an appointment may also be a job skill. The fact that you’ve been thinking about the job proves that you’re genuinely interested in it, and that you are applying because you really want the job, not just because you need a job.
Those are just the ways in which asking questions at the interview helps you to prove your case to the potential employer that you’re the right person to hire. The other reasons to ask questions however entirely come down to you. You should be asking questions you genuinely want answers to in order to determine whether you think the job is an adequate fit. What those questions are will entirely come down to what’s important to you (and what you can’t figure out from the job description, the setting for the interview, and the hiring manager’s information).
Here are some examples of helpful questions to ask during your job interview: What is the corporate culture like? Tell me about an average day on the job for someone in my position. Tell me about a standout worker who held this position; what made him or her excel at the job? You might also ask questions about the company, such as questions about the company’s future plans and direction. If you ask the right questions, you can weigh whether you should take the job if it is offered to you. You might not have much of a choice given the current economic climate, but if you have the freedom to say yes or no, then you should make an educated decision. You’re going to be spending a lot of time on the job, so it should be something you’re happy doing.