Job interviews can be incredibly stressful and intimidating. If you happen to be interviewed virtually, that’s a whole new level of nerve-wracking. You’ve researched the company, practiced your most well-worded answers, and given heads up to your references. When so many things feel uncertain, there’s one question you can count on being asked by a prospective employer: “So, what questions do you have for me?”
Many, in an effort to end the interview agony, may say they have no questions at all, but this is missing a golden opportunity to turn the tables and gather intel on a company or organization in whom you may invest thousands of hours. Here are a few questions that might help you learn what you need to know:
What might a typical day/week look like in this position?
You probably have somewhat of an idea of daily responsibilities from the job description, but there are things a person can explain and elaborate on in the moment better than in writing before. Even if you get the “every day is different” response, you’ve still opened the door to asking about specifics. You’ll likely be able to tell pretty quickly just by the way the question is answered.
Why do YOU like working here?
Of course, one person’s experience at a company probably won’t mirror your own, but it’s a good way to get a feel for the culture of the organization. You’ll be able to tell if the person with whom you’re speaking really enjoys her job or if she struggles to come up with something. If someone is sincere and enthusiastic, the answer should come quickly and easily.
What are some challenges the person in this position might face?
While it’s great to hear about all the upsides of a position or a company, it’s just as important to learn what downsides you might encounter. There might be a small budget at first, inter-office politics might be a hurdle, or it could require more after-hours work than you’re interested in. If the interviewer says, “none,” that might be a red flag.
With whom will I work closely?
Team dynamics are often a make-or-break part of a job. You can be a great fit for the company and its culture, but working with a difficult group can be difficult to overcome. If the interviewer gives you specific names, ask in what departments they work. That’s a good way to learn about how multi-functional a position might be.
Asking questions at the end of an interview shows the prospective employer you’ve put thought and consideration into the position and allows you to gather a little more information the job description might have left out. Make sure you include questions you care about as well. Your careful preparation might be what sets this company apart for you and you for the company.