Questions to Ask at Your Next Job Interview

June 13, 2011

If you’re scheduled for an upcoming job interview, consider entering the interview with at least a few prepared questions to ask. Not only will the right questions help you to ascertain if the job is right for you, but the answers will also give you a fairly accurate picture of what’s going on behind the interview. Here are five key questions that Dale Carnegie Training recommends be posed by the interviewee:

  • What are the organizations most pressing needs? —  You need to get an idea of what the job will entail beyond the job title and description. What nuances might the job entail? Was everything left running smoothly by the former position holder? The goal is to get a sense of the individuality of this particular job in this particular company.
  • How long was the previous person in that position? — If that person was there for only a short time, you might want to question why. Also consider asking under what circumstances the person left. If the job is in disarray (see question #1), and the last two people were there a short period of time and were fired, exit gracefully and don’t look back because you’ll likely be next on the hit parade.
  • Ask about your prospective supervisor’s management style — Is she a micro manager looking over her reports’ shoulders all day? Does she help you if you have trouble? Obviously these questions must be framed the right way, but try to at least get a feel for how you’ll be managed, or mismanaged, as the case may be.
  • What type of person tends to excel at the organization? — Is the company looking for workaholics or ones who are self-motivated and manage themselves well? Does the company prefer people who work well in teams or committees, or people that are accustomed to thinking independently? These answers will tell you something about the pervasive culture in the company or department.
  • Ask the interviewer how long he/she have been with the company, and why do they stay? — The answers to these questions will give you an indication as to the health of the department or company, as well as an insight into your potential boss and his or her management style.

These questions will give you valuable information that has a direct bearing on your immediate, and perhaps prolonged, future. Simply compare what you’ve learned with what you are looking for. Also, while interviewing pay attention to the interviewer’s body language and facial expressions. Is he relaxed? Does he fill in some of the spaces? Does he speak to you or at you? These are also valuable cues, and you’ll need to give them consideration just as you do with the answers you received.

Perfect jobs seldom land in your lap by luck and good fortune. But if the job you’re interviewing for is perfect for you, with the answers to these questions, you’ll recognize it by what it doesn’t look like, as well as what it does.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Central Indiana, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Indiana. We would love to connect with you on Facebook.

Photo credit: digitalart

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