You find the perfect job. You apply online. You eagerly wait for an interview. You finally get your opportunity to sit down with a manager and you answer all of their questions to the best of your ability. You leave the interview feeling great about what you have shared in terms of your experience and skill set.
You later reflect on the conversation during the interview. You suddenly realize that YOU did not ask any questions. You didn’t inquire about the expectations of the position or the organization as a whole. You have no idea if this is truly a fit for you or not.
The interview process is two-fold. The hiring manager needs to determine if you are the best qualified applicant for the position and the applicant needs to determine if the organization and position are a fit both personally and professionally. Before you leave an interview, you should ask the employer these six questions:
1. What are the roles and responsibilities of the position as you see it? When you leave, you should have a true understanding of "a day in the life" of someone in this role within the organization. If you are unsure, ask more questions to clarify.
2. How would you describe your management style? For example, is your direct report a micro-manager or more hands off. You should determine if your manager’s style would be a good fit for you.
3. What is the timeline to fill the position? When would I start if I were offered the position? This will allow you to determine when you should follow up if you have not heard from the hiring manager or recruiter. Please keep in mind that the manager and recruiter have several applicants in the process. Follow up once or twice and then wait for them to contact you.
4. What is your benefits package? Determine what benefits matter to you most and request information.
5. What is the typical range of compensation for the position? Everyone has financial responsibilities. Do not wait until the very end of the process to determine if the position is within your financial range. Early in the process, a manager may not be able to give you a specific dollar amount, but they can at least share the beginning rate for the position.
6. Can I answer anymore questions for you regarding my experience or qualifications? This will ensure you are leaving them with all the information needed to determine if you are the best fit for the position.
Interviewing is a two-way street. Hiring managers are definitely getting the information they need to make the best decision for the business. As an applicant, it is equally important that you have the information needed to make a decision that is best for you and your career.