You have probably read that it’s a job seeker’s market out there right now. At That’s Good HR, we’re seeing it play out in the Indianapolis area as well. But that doesn’t mean candidates should expect to skate through your job interview. The interview process is the right time for you to evaluate the company’s culture and find out if the job will meet your expectations.
When the interviewer asks you if you have any questions, don’t waste this ideal opportunity. Instead, use the interview to dig into the details about the job. When you work with That’s Good HR to find a job, you’re already at an advantage because our recruiters have worked to connect you with companies that match your skill set. Now it’s time to make sure the company matches your personality and career goals as well.
How – and when – to ask the right questions
Always, always, always be prepared with at least three questions to ask during the interview process. Asking questions shows that you are engaged in the conversation and have done a little homework beforehand. However, you also want to put your communications skills to work. Be part of the conversation, listening to what the interview has to say before you jump in with your questions. It’s natural to start working on your response, but the interviewer deserves your full attention.
Are you worried about forgetting pertinent details? Have a notebook nearby with your prepared questions and any notes you jot down during the interview. This ensures you don’t miss anything important, and it indicates that you are interested during the interview process. Sometimes the opportunity for questions will come up during the conversation, and that’s great. But almost every interviewer will specifically ask if you have any questions of your own. Here’s your chance to shine – and to find out if this job is a match for you!
7 questions to ask during an interview
The interview has gone well, and now it’s your turn to ask the questions. Use the remaining interview time to fill in any blanks that weren’t covered in the interview. The questions below can be a good starting point, although we caution jobseekers to avoid asking about something that’s already been covered. Use your notes to finish strong and find out if this is the right job for you.
- What is the highest priority for this position in the next six months? Year?
It’s important to ensure that there’s not a disconnect between the employer’s priorities and your ultimate career goals. For example, if you are seeking a job that will provide training and opportunities for management, you should confirm that the employer is on the same page.
- What are three key qualities you are seeking in a successful candidate?
Listen carefully to the answer – here’s a good time to use that notebook so you can take notes. Reinforce the answer with your own answer. “I am excited to hear that you’re looking for someone who is organized. In my previous position, I devised a filing method that improved our ability to locate client information quickly.” Give examples of how you’re a good fit for the position.
- Describe a typical day in this job.
When you’re starting a new job, you want to at least have an idea of what is expected of you. Make sure you understand what’s involved in a typical day on the job, so there aren’t any surprises.
- Could you tell me about your training for this position?
Some people are very comfortable jumping into a new job and figuring things out as they go along. Others prefer a formal training period with a mentor or someone who will be available for questions. Find out which is part of the new job description. What skills are you expected to bring to the position? What new skills will you be expected to learn?
- What is the culture like here?
Company culture is a vital part of any organization. When you ask this question, you are exploring the company’s working environment and deciding if you’re a good fit. Do employees tend to collaborate or work individually on projects? Is the dress code casual or formal? How do managers handle requests for time off or work/life balance concerns? There are no wrong answers, just insights on whether this job matches your unique professional personality.
- Why do you enjoy working here?
This may seem like a personal question, but it’s a great way to find out what it’s like to work for the company. You can also discover benefits you haven’t already discussed during the interview, like quarterly team-bonding activities or community outreach projects.
- If you decide I am a suitable candidate, what are our next steps?
Go ahead and start thinking about the next steps. How much time do you need to give your current employer? What sort of paperwork will the new employer need before you start? When should you expect to hear from the employer? Does the employer respond even if they decide to look at other candidates?
A job interview may seem like a one-way conversation, but the answers are important to both the employer and the job seeker. Employees are more likely to stay at a job with a positive working environment. You are seeking a job that aligns with your own mission and values, as well as your current skill set. Asking the right questions can put you on a path for career progression and growth.
That’s Good HR focuses on matching jobseekers with some of the best Indianapolis area employers. Send us your resume, and our recruiters will review it and tell you if we think any of our currently available jobs are a good fit. You’ll have a chance to talk first to a That’s Good HR recruiter, who can help you prepare for the interview and find your next hot job. Check out our job board, or find out more about That’s Good HR here.