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Ask Effective Interview Questions

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4. Ask Questions About Work Culture

Ask about company practices and goals.

Examples: “How will my performance be measured?” and “What are the opportunities for training and professional development?” Also try, “What do you see as the most important objectives for this position in the next year?”

These questions show that…

  • You’re forward-thinking and proactive
  • You look forward to professional growth
  • Ask what it’s like to work there.

Examples: “What happens in a typical week (or day) here?” and “What’s the work atmosphere or management style in this company?”

These questions show that…

  • You’re actively evaluating your fit with this job
  • You’re interested in the job and the company

At the End of the Interview

Ask about next steps, and get the interviewer’s contact information.

Examples: “Can you tell me where you are in the process of making a hiring decision?” or “When can I expect to hear from you?” and “May I have your business card?”

These questions show that…

  • It’s important to you to follow up effectively
  • You manage your time and expectations

What if the interview ends before you can ask all your questions? Weave leftover questions into your thank-you note, and follow up within a week or two (depending on the employer’s time frame for hiring, of which you learned during the interview).

Salary Questions

Unless the interviewer brings it up, a first interview is not the time to ask about salary, hours, or special needs, such as flextime.

Save questions about benefits for Human Resources or until after you’ve been offered a job.

Listen and Adapt

Writing down questions to ask will help prepare you for the interview. But remember, the questions above are just examples. If you listen carefully and treat the interview as a conversation, you’ll find it easier to ask—and to answer—questions.

You may also like: How to write a winning resume. >>

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