For most people, an interview seems like a middle school math test: they have questions, you have the (right or wrong) answers. It feels like a one-way road to anxiety.
That’s not entirely true. While an interview is a good time to tell a prospective employer about yourself, your qualifications, your experience, and your potential, it’s also an opportunity to learn more about your potential new boss. A healthy working relationship requires understanding and flexibility on both sides.
Here are some of the top questions you should ask during your interview to get a better idea of what your prospective employer is looking for:
“What is expected of me?” Knowing your job duties and responsibilities is essential, and while the job description should be your primary source of information, it’s not the only source. Asking a hiring manager, or your direct manager, what your responsibilities are is critical. Be clear: your goal should be to know their expectations, then exceed them.
“What will a typical day look like?” Any job will have a learning curve, but the meat and potatoes of employment is in the day-to-day duties that need attention. If it’s a new position, or a position created through consolidation, there may not be much information. Knowing your expected routine will help determine if you need more tasks, or if you need to make clear that the tasks they expect may be too much for you.
“What are my opportunities for advancement?” A successful workplace creates a culture of constant improvement. A hiring manager should outline a typical ladder to climb within the company and a typical timeline. Take note: Training and education opportunities should be carefully considered.
“When am I eligible for my first review?” This not only sets the table for a progress check, but also any potential raises. Most employers will offer a review around 90 to 180 days. Be clear and set a date if possible.