It's important to remember that interviews are two-way streets. This means that you can (and should!) ask questions of the hiring manager, too. After all, just as much as they're deciding on you as a potential new-hire, you need to decide on them as a potential employer.
Instead of asking basic questions about the pay, the hours and the environment, however, dig a little deeper! Here are seven better follow-up questions to ask at the end of your next interview. Ask these questions, and we promise you'll have the answers you need before making moves on the offer you'll totally get. After all, these questions will make you seem seriously invested.
1. What are the day-to-day responsibilities of the job?
You'll want to know not just what the job description says in the job advert, but also what the actual day-to-day responsibilities are going to look like. What is actually going to be expected of you in this role on a daily basis? Asking this will also help you to determine whether or not the job advert is accurate. After all, you may not want to work for a company that isn't totally confident in what exactly they need you to do; wishy-washy expectations will make it difficult to track and rank your performance down the line.
2. How would you describe the culture of the company?
Many companies will share their values on their official website. It's easy, however, to slap buzzwords onto a website and for a company to tout itself as inclusive, diverse, forward-thinking, etc. That's why you should ask the hiring manager how they, in particular, would describe the culture of the company, given their unique, personal experiences working there. It'll be easier to gauge how a company really is by hearing first-person anecdotes than it is by reading about it online.
3. What are your expectations for this role in the first 30 days?
You'll want to ask the hiring manager what they'd expect from you in the first 30, 60 or even 90 days of working there. This will help you gauge whether or not their expectations seem realistic, as well as whether or not the job will seem like an interesting enough challenge for you! The hiring manager may respond with an answer that seems too easy, which won't help you advance or hone in on your skills, or they might come back with a response that seems like an impossible feat. This could help shape your decision if you get an offer.
4. Where do you see the company headed in the next five years?
Sure, no hiring manager is going to actively tell a candidate that they see the company failing. But, depending on their answer, you might have a better shot at telling if the company is on the up and up or if it's a sinking ship. If it's the latter, you might not want to risk it.
5. What do you think are the most important soft skills for someone to have in order to excel in this role?
While your resume should list all of your hard skills, and the job advert should name the hard skills that you'll need to do the job, soft skills can be more of a mystery. Understanding the types of soft skills that this role requires will help you better understand whether or not you're actually cut out for the job.
6. What are the biggest challenges the company is currently facing?
Knowing what kinds of challenges the company is currently facing will help you to recognize what you're up against. You can more easily gauge whether or not you're walking into a glass-ceiling or, rather, a glass-cliff situation. And you can also better understand what will be required of you in order to help move the company out of those hardships.
7. What are the most exciting opportunities the company is currently facing?
Recognizing the opportunities at hand is also important. You will want to know what opportunities the company is facing to keep yourself motivated and inspired to do your best work. It's also exciting to know what the company might be able to lead your career over the next few years.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreport and Facebook.