When it comes to interviewing, job seekers need to remember it's just as important to ask questions as it is to answer questions.
Interviews should be an open dialogue between the employer and job seeker to determine if there is a mutual fit for both. Employers want to get to know you and you want to get to know the employer. The more prepared you are to ask questions, the more impressed the employer/recruiter will be - and the more you may learn about the job.
Many recruiters have a list of questions they want to ask, but the best interviews are not just interviews, but discussions that include back and forth information sharing from both parties.
Fred E. Coon, author of Ready Aim Hired: Survival Tactics for Job and Career Transition provides these general questions to help job seekers gain more information during an interview:
1. Please tell me about the job, what this position does and how it fits into the department and company goals?
2. What about my resume, background or experience caught your attention?
3. What will my specific duties be?
4. What kind of personal qualities are you looking for in a person who takes this position?
5. Is there a comparable position in this area and how long has that person been with the company?
6. How do you see this position in the company and where do you see it heading?
7. What factors do you see influencing any expected growth?
8. What are some of the greatest challenges this department or person in this role faces and how do you see my skill set helping solve these challenges?
9. What/who comprises the current team?
10. What type of professional development path do you provide and what is the company's continuing education policy?
When asking questions you want to get an overview of the job role and duties, your expectations, the team members or department you may be working with/for, the future of the job, the challenges you may have to overcome, what your short and long-term future may be and how they react to providing continuing education/learning opportunities.
Remember, the interview is a two-way dialogue. Answer questions, but ask questions to find out if you are a fit and the job is what you expect. This is your chance to interview the company while they interview you.