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Ask These 5 Questions at Your Next Job Interview

Oct 9th 2015
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Employers aren't the only ones asking questions during a job interview. According to a recent survey by staffing firm Accountemps, 84 percent of professionals say they, too, have asked questions while meeting with hiring managers.

The three most common topics job candidates ask about during an interview, according to the 400 people surveyed, are professional expectations and responsibilities (21 percent), salary (15 percent), and corporate culture (12 percent).

However, individuals should remember they are in a professional environment and their questions should reflect this fact.

“The interview is the perfect opportunity to learn about the company's priorities, the position, and how you can add value,” Bill Driscoll, a district president of Accountemps, a division of Robert Half, said in a written statement. “When first meeting with potential employers, it's better to pose big-picture questions so you can discover how aligned your skills and personality are with the role and the organization. You can delve into the details in future meetings.”

Some survey respondents admitted to asking the following inappropriate questions:

  • How late do you consider too late for showing up to work?
  • When can I retire?
  • Can I take a three-week vacation?
  • When can I get a raise?

So, what is appropriate to ask a potential employer during a job interview? Accountemps recommends these five questions:

1.What is a typical day like for someone in this position? You will learn about the duties and expectations, and get a sense of how your prospective manager understands what's involved with the job.

2. Who was in the role before me, and why did he or she leave? Be wary if the job is a revolving door. There could be unrealistic expectations or other reasons that people in this position haven't been set up for success.

3. What qualities do you think would make someone successful in this position? Use the answer to help highlight your relevant skills and determine if your strengths are a match for the position.

4.What do you see as the greatest opportunities for the company in the next several years? The response gives you a sense of the firm's prospects and whether the leadership has a vision for the future direction of the company.

5. What do you like most about working here? This gives you information about the corporate culture and also what most motivates and inspires your potential manager.


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By Andy North
Oct 9th 2015 15:14

The best question I've ever been asked is "Why do you like working here?" which I liked because it made me think more specifically about my experience of the company.

I hate it when a candidate will simply say anything to get the job. I much prefer the ones who take an interest in whether the role is right for them - and are critical about that.

I've heard it often said that the interview is a sales pitch for the candidate but I don't fully agree - it should be a conversation to decide whether the role fits the candidate too.

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By Julie Casali
Oct 9th 2015 22:20

I like to ask, "What's your biggest pain point right now and how am I expected to offer relief to the issue?" Gives you a sense of what's going to be your most important and problematic task when you start and let's the employer know that you're geared-up to lend a hand and make things a little easier for them.

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