This One Interview Question We All Dread

At the end of a job interview when they ask the inevitable, ‘So, do you have any questions?’ Make sure you have prepared some good questions. After all, a job interview is a two-way conversation. If the interviewer has questions for the candidate, then even the candidate might have questions regarding the company. I learned this when I began interviewing for my employer, and realized how clueless candidates can be! This one question can serve multiple purposes: it can clear up any miscommunications about what the job is or what is expected of you. It helps sketch out an idea about how well-suited you are to the job or the management style of the organization. I hope that this post serves as a guide on tackling interview questions in a smart and impressive manner.

Why is the position open? Layoffs can be one of the many reasons why a particular position is open. Even bigger question to ask is: Has the company been losing money? Are they restructuring? Is the industry as a whole struggling?  If not layoffs, it could be something as dramatic as a draconian manager; or something as simple as someone leaving the company for good.

How is a typical working day here? Use this question as a way to run over the skills necessary for the position, and whether you have those skills and the experience to do the job.  

When can I expect to hear from you? Employers often take weeks or even months, before letting the candidate know that they’ve been hired. As a matter of fact, many employers interview at least five to six candidates, which again could take weeks, depending on people’s schedules. Now, this may sound unreasonable to many candidates, because employers often hire another candidate and don’t even bother to inform the people who were waiting for a call.

By asking this question, the interviewer will make sure that he reciprocates irrespective of the fact whether he has good or bad news for the individual. Also, it will give him an idea that the candidate is eager to join the company and prove how productive he can be. There are some relevant and enlightening interview questions too:

What options are there for advancement? This question clearly showcases how progressive an individual is in relation to his career. The interviewer feels that the given person is planning to grow along with the company and will work with full dedication to attain it. It is also a sign of loyalty for the company.

Where do you see the company in the next five years? This is an important question to ask to make sure that the company one is planning to join will be beneficial for the individual himself. Nobody would like to work at a place which is unsure about its own development. It will be unjustified if one puts in a lot of hard work and skill into his job but later realizes that there is no scope of growth for him in the given company. Also from the answer of the interviewer, he’ll get the idea about how passionate the company is regarding its growth.

Priyansha Mistry
Currently editor at The HR Digest Magazine. She helps HR professionals identify issues with their talent management and employment law. | Priyansha tweets at @PriyanshaMistry

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