People often struggle with figuring out what might be good questions to ask potential employers. It's helpful to create questions that are insightful, yet avoid intrusiveness. Acquiring a realistic preview of the job and work environment are critical in helping to make decisions that will support future job satisfaction. Here are a few questions for you to consider.
WHAT ARE THE IMMEDIATE CHALLENGES FOR THE PERSON HIRED INTO THIS POSITION?
This inquiry opens a new way for you to explore with the interviewer the value of your qualifications. If you are a quick thinker, you may be able to illustrate how you could effectively meet such challenges.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE? WHAT ARE COMMON GOALS AND VALUES THAT ALL WORKERS SHARE?
A good fit will not rely solely on the match between job requirements and qualifications. How well you fit into the existing team environment is another important consideration and can make or break success in a position. If your meeting involves more than one interviewer, observe the dynamics between people. Is everyone respectful? Do you perceive seriousness throughout or a sense of humor appreciated? Can you detect power or control issues? How well do the dynamics you perceive fit your personality?
HOW IS PERFORMANCE IN THIS POSITION EVALUATED?
A thorough understanding of accountabilities can help you determine how good of a match you are for the job. It also provides another opportunity to leverage the strengths you have to offer. The answer to this question also sometimes reveals a peak into the work culture. Is a team approach important? Are expectations clear? Are expectations realistic?
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO KNOW ABOUT ME TO HELP CLARIFY HOW WELL I FIT THE POSITION?
Asked near the end, this gives the interviewers an opportunity to consider your match for the position within the interview, not just afterwards. Then you have the chance to address any concerns that are brought up.
WHEN CAN I EXPECT TO HEAR FROM YOU AS TO THE NEXT STEP?
As a closing question, this encourages specificity in an area where interviewers can often be vague.
It is also a good idea to develop a few questions based upon your research of the company. First, it shows you care enough about the position to gather information, and secondly, the answers can give you more of an "insider view" of the move you are considering.
Strategically preparing questions to ask for interviews can expand your sense of power in the job search process.