While considering potential interview questions, you’ll also want to think about a few to ask. Formulating the right queries can be challenging because there are answers you want, but certain questions you shouldn’t ask. While we carefully craft the precise balance of information gathering and positive impression questions as part of the career coaching process, here is some food for thought when it comes to interview questions to ask employers.
- What do you need to find out from the interviewer? Start by making a list of what you need to know in order to accept or decline the position. Then ferret out the questions you can’t wait to ask post-offer. Develop respectful, yet impressive questions that will help you get the answers you need. For example, if you want to know if the person interviewing you will ultimately be working with you, why not say, “I can tell that you have a passion for this division. If I were to get the position, how will our roles intersect?”
- What can you learn online? It’s always a good idea to demonstrate that you’ve done your homework. So in a way, you may want to ask something you kind of already know the answer to, but also want more information about. For example, if you’re interviewing for a marketing team and want to learn more about the depth of responsibility on all the programs that they launch, you might inquire, “I understand the team hosts an annual fundraising rally. How can I get involved?” This demonstrates research and enthusiasm while artfully ferreting out your work load.
- What can you infer from the interaction? When certain topics arise in the interview, take note of how they are asked, body language and any dialogue surrounding them. To illustrate, take technology. When the topic comes up, measure their reaction. If you can see this topic makes them highly animated, uncomfortable or bored, this may indicate the level of corporate progress. You may then want to ask, “Who handles social media within your organization?” or “How is technology leveraged by your team?” If the idea seems foreign to them, you may be taking a step back. On the other hand, you might be able to leverage your technological prowess in negotiations.
- What do you need to ask about the company? Culture is a huge determinant of whether or not people will accept a position with another company. Unfortunately, the interviewer already assumes you know all about their culture from your research. So asking a question that reflects your ignorance on a topic could work against you. Instead, go about learning company information from a more personal route, i.e. “What do you like best about working here?” or “What are your big goals for your team in the next year?”