This is probably the most commonly asked question during a job interview and the one that most candidates fail to plan for.
I'm glad you're here because I want to help you avoid this trap. In this article, I'll give you five real-life examples of how I answered this question when going through interviews.
- Don’t ask about any basic details that you should know already, or that you could easily find elsewhere.
- Also, resist the urge to ask anything that’s challenging or uncomfortable to answer. And avoid going into anything too specific at this stage. After all, you haven’t got the job yet! So this isn’t the right time to be discussing detailed points about working hours, benefits or responsibilities.
- If your research about the company has revealed new, imminent plans, a question about this will demonstrate your diligence, and show them how your values align with theirs.
- It’s a good idea to ask a question about the specific job that you’re applying for.
- Finally, include a question about day-to-day life in the organization.
The culture of the company
I have a question about the culture of the company. What are the main characteristics that make it unique?
I’m really interested in this job, but I know there are many candidates who are also qualified. What do you think is my greatest strength that will help me stand out from other applicants?
- What is your favorite thing about working at [company name]?
- Are there any specific projects that are currently being worked on? I would love to hear more about them!
- What is a typical day like for employees in this role?
- How does your company keep up with developments in the industry? Is there a formal training program or does everyone learn through on-the-job experience?
Opportunities for advancement
I've done a lot of research about your company and I'm really impressed by the work you do. That's why I'd love to work there.
I'm curious about what my role would be like if I got the job. How much supervision would I get? What kind of training would be available? What are some examples of previous work that people in this position have done?
I'd also like to know what kinds of opportunities for advancement are available for someone in this position.
Growth within the company
I have a question about the culture and values of the company. I’ve read about how you value your employees, and I’m curious about how that translates into your daily life. How do you encourage collaboration between departments? What kind of technology do you use to connect with each other? How often do you get together in person?
I also wanted to ask about the specific role for which I am applying. Do you see this position as a stepping stone to something else? Is there room for growth within the company?
A few questions to be helpful in finalizing the interview
Thank you for the opportunity to interview with you today. I have a few questions that I think will be helpful in finalizing the interview:
- The first involves your plans to expand into international markets. How do you see this process affecting day-to-day operations?
- I also wanted to ask about how much time is spent on research and development. Do you focus more on product development or customer needs?
- Finally, what are some of the more challenging aspects of working here? Is there anything I should know about before accepting an offer?
Expectations for my first few months on the job
I have a couple of questions for you.
First, I'm wondering if you could tell me a little more about the team I'd be joining. What is their typical day like? How close are they? What's the work-life balance like?
Second, what would your expectations for my first few months on the job be? If it's not too much to ask, could you also tell me a little bit about how people grow within your company?
Finally, I know that this position is open because of an upcoming merger. Would I be expected to help with that transition in any way?