May 10, 2012

What should I ask a potential employer during an interview?

I dread that part of the interview (well, all parts of the interview, but that's a different issue) when the interviewer asks if I have any questions. What questions can I ask that show that I'm invested in the job? And what questions does an interviewer never want to hear?


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As "rude" as it may sound... You should ask about pay increases.  I got burned by not asking before taking my current job.  I found out a few weeks after starting that the company has not given raises since 2008!  Needless to say I regret not asking that.  Also you should ask about the company and do your research.  I found out the company I now currently work for almost went out of business in 2008.  I obviously am searching still for a better opportunity and using this job as a "stepping stone".

I think it's a good idea to be responsive to them in the first interview, rather than making them be responsive to you. Do some research ahead of time and learn all you can about the company's business, particularly the area of the company that you might be working in.

You can have some questions for them if you get a second interview.

Ask them for their Facebook password.  


Just kidding.  I would look at their website/materials and try to find out as much as possible about the business, then tailor a couple of questions based on that in case you need them.  I also suggest asking them what they are looking for, something like "What are the qualities that you are looking for?"  Or perhaps, "What can I do to make your decision easier?  I would be happy to...."  


One thing I wouldn't ask about during the initial interview is salary or vacation, particularly vacation.  If you set the hook and get called back for a second interview, that is the time to start negotiating salary/benefits.  


Good luck, I hope things go well!  

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