By Randy Wooden, Director, Professional Center by Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina
Today I wrap up my three-part blog series on questions you may want to ask an employer during your interview. We have already covered questions dealing with areas like your job duties, why they are hiring, and your training.
This time, we will look at a few other areas, starting with advancement. After all, the position for which you are interviewing might not be your final job. You might want to move up in pay and responsibility at this company or some other employer.
When speaking about advancement, demonstrate your interest in the job at hand while exploring what the future holds. Sometimes the employer will start that dialogue by asking about your goals. If they do not bring it up, it is fine for you to ask.
“I’m excited about this position because (you should be prepared to talk about two to three reasons). And as I learn and achieve, I’d like to continue to be challenged. For someone who does a great job, what are possible future opportunities within the organization?”
While my wording may not suit your style, these ideas can help you get started. Play around with the phrasing so it matches your style. You want them to know you are committed to the present job and will perform it well.
As your interview wraps up, make sure you understand their timeline for the next step in the hiring process. Will it be an offer or perhaps another interview? If the employer does not volunteer that information, restate your interest in the job and ask them about what happens next. When they give you an approximate timeline, ask whether it is ok to call them if you have not heard from them by then. This helps remove the guesswork about when to follow up.
While the next questions are not critical to knowing whether you can do or want the job, they may have value.
If you have done your homework on the company and see something noteworthy about them in a news story, tell them what you found and ask a question about it.
If you feel comfortable doing so, try asking the interviewer what attracted him or her to the company or what they think gives their company a competitive edge. You could ask about the company’s or the department’s goals. Save the compensation discussion for later.
Be prepared to ask questions; avoid questions that can easily answered with a quick web search.
Asking questions allows you to know more about the position while demonstrating you have researched the company and given thought to the position. It allows you to catch your breath from answering questions.