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7 Questions Every Job Seeker Must Ask at Every Interview

Many people believe that interviews are a one-way street. Once the interviewer has finished asking you questions however, they will often ask if you have any follow-up questions regarding the company and the position you are applying for.

Use this opportunity to ask whatever you want to know about the company and its current state since it’s possible that this will become your career residence for a foreseeable future. Let’s take a look at some of the most important questions that every candidate should keep in mind when facing their interviewer.

1.     Job responsibilities

Even though you know what your job description looks like, it’s often not clear enough how day-to-day work looks like. Ask the interviewer what their expectations are from every employee on the pay roll. These can often range from staying in the offices for the full working hours every day, staying late to finish all the work or maybe even organize weekend activities for the rest of the colleagues. Responsibilities vary from company to company and should be considered on a case-by-case basis – no two companies have the same expectations from their employees.

2.     Company culture

Companies have always been small communities, and this means that there are certain values and qualities that people like to uphold. Ask the interviewer how the climate is inside the company regarding personal qualities of the staff. What are the things they like doing the most, what their stances are regarding world or community issues and what they mostly do in their spare time?

These people will likely become your colleagues tomorrow so knowing more about how they think and work will prove very useful down the line. This can often be a breaking point for many candidates however, knowing that the company staff is interested in nothing that connects them.

A healthy working environment means productivity – you can’t have one without the other. Whatever culture is predominant in the company is the one you will have to deal with – if it’s something you can’t see yourself in, it’s often best to walk away and spare yourself and the company some time and effort.

3.     Future of the company

Companies usually have life-long goals and long term plans for their development and the future of their employees. Ask the interviewer about the future goals of the company and where it’s headed. You will gain valuable insight into what products and services are primary to the company and it may help you fit into your future working environment much faster.

Knowing what the future holds for the company will allow you to shape your own path inside the staff, making it easier to target positions that you want to advance towards. Don’t be shy to ask anything about the current state of the company as well. It might give you ideas that you can pitch to your future executive once you are actually hired.

4.     Development expectations

Companies rarely hire people without ambition or life direction. That is why it’s important to ask the interviewer what their expectations are in regards to your personal development. What kind of skills and values should you strive to develop over the next couple of years should you be hired? Some people face the shock of setting expectations once they are actually hired and it often proves to be their downfall inside that particular company.

Make sure that you have a clear picture of what is expected of you before you commit to working for a particular employer. Even though you may have explained your ambitions in your cover letter using a professional writing platform like Resumes Expert it might be a good idea to go over them again with the interviewer and compare them to companies own expectations of you. Doing something you don’t like won’t get you anywhere down the line and will often cost you years of career development that could have been spent elsewhere.

5.     Biggest challenges

Every company faces hardship once in a while and learns important lessons from those experiences. Ask the interviewer what the biggest challenges were for the company and how they overcame those challenges. It might be a simple matter of stock values dropping due to bad products or a financial investor backing out on them but it will still give you important insight into the company. Depending on what sector and position you are applying for this can be extremely helpful when pitching new ideas and developing risky new products for the company.

6.     Career paths

No one wants to work for a company that doesn’t offer any career development and you should always keep this in mind. Talk about what kind of career paths people usually take once they are done with that particular company. Is it a company that offers professional development and lets people go over a span of a couple of years or is it a long-term deal where you are committed to that particular company for a much longer period of time. Think about yourself in this situation because this is your life you are talking about and ask anything you might think of when it comes to developing career paths inside the company.

7.     Next steps

The most important question you should ask the interviewer is what the next steps of your employment process are. Even if you think you did poorly at the interview, the person screening you might think otherwise. Show them some interest and ask what the next steps are regarding your application. This will usually be a follow-up phone call that will finally tell you if you have been accepted or not, but ask the question anyway – interviewers like to see proactive candidates who want to know what happens next.

Conclusion

Job interviews are a two-way street that goes both ways – you can always ask the interviewer anything you like as long as you are offered a chance to do so. Never interrupt the interview by asking questions and always wait for when the time is right. Asking the right questions will often be the deciding factor in hiring you since you showed interest in internal and business relations of the company.

Being interested into what’s going on with the company from the first moment is always a good idea, regardless of the position you are applying for initially. You might even be offered a different, more fitting position based on your interview, so make sure that you take every opportunity to show the interviewer who you are besides the paperwork you submitted initially.