Questions to ask at a job interview

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When applying for any sort of job whether a part-time job, a summer job or even just an internship, it’s standard practice to prepare to answer questions. But in truth, it can really help your prospects by asking the interviewer your own questions. You are allowed to ask questions, after all, and turning the tables a little bit can help raise your stature. Here are some sample questions that might help.

“What’s the top priority for the person you’ll hire for this position for the next six months?”

By asking this, you’re showing that you’re planning on succeeding as soon as you start work, without giving yourself weeks or months to learn the ropes and settle in to your new job.

“What’s the biggest challenge facing your staff, and would I be in a position to solve it?”

This question will get your interviewer talking about his/her workplace and the issues facing it, which in turn might have the subtle effect of treating you like you already work there.

“What would make someone successful in this position?”

Asking this question makes you look like someone who wants to do much more than just show up and collect a paycheck; it helps mark you out as someone who really wants to succeed.

“Would you be able to walk me through a typical day at your office?”

By asking this question, you’re giving the impression of a person who’s planning for getting things done from day one.

“Does your company offer additional training or assistance in continuing education?”

First of all, it’s helpful to know about your employer’s education and training policies because additional skills can really help your career; and secondly, looking into extra learning shows an intention to stick around for the long term and grow with the company.

“Is there anything you’d like to ask me but haven’t?”

This one can be a bit dicey, because it suggests that your interviewer might have private concerns about your application. But by offering the chance to get those concerns out in the open, you make it possible to address them -- and hopefully putting your employer’s mind at ease. You’ll need to be a bit confident, able to handle criticism and doubts from others. But that kind of confidence can also help your image.

“What’s the next step in the hiring process?”

Asking this will make you seem eager, even hungry for the job, and ready to take whatever next steps are involved in getting the job.

Overall, it’s very helpful to see a job interview in active terms. It’s an interaction, a conversation, and not just something that sees you passively sitting in a chair. It’s your job -- don’t just sit there, go get it!

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