Posted by Brian McCullough
For the most part, a job interview will consist of you being asked a whole series of questions so that the potential employer can get a good feel for you, but there will also be an opportunity for you to ask questions of your own. While you can feel free to ask any questions that are on your mind, there are some questions that should always be asked so that you can get a good feel for the potential job opportunity you are interviewing for.
Here are some key questions you will want to be sure and ask at your next job interview:
- What Are the Days and Hours You Will Have to Work: Fist and foremost, you need to find out exactly what hours you will be expected to work. Will they need you for the day time or night time? Everyone has their own time limitations and this can be as a result of other obligations such as school or having to pick up kids, so you need to factor in your obligations when looking at the hours you will be expected to work. You also need to consider the days in which you will be expected to work. Will you be expected to work only on weekdays, or will you have to work weekends? What about holidays? Whatever the case may be, if you can’t meet the day and hour requirements that the job calls for then you will not be able to accept it if it is offered to you.
- What Is the Pay: You will also want to ask how much the starting hourly wage, or starting salary, is. You need to know this as you have certain financial obligations that need to be met, and if the money that they will be offering you is not enough to pay your bills, then you will either be left to negotiate a better starting rate, or keep looking elsewhere for another job opportunity.
- What Are the Opportunities for Advancement: Assuming that the starting pay is enough to for you, the next question to ask is what your long term opportunities are going to be with the company itself. It is important to find out if you are starting out on the bottom rung of the corporate, or job, ladder or closer to the top. While certain positions will allow for much more room to grow, others will not. You also have to realize that certain companies will only allow you to move up so high before your opportunities and your pay are both capped. In order to avoid taking a job where you have little room to better yourself, find out what kind of room for advancement there is before you accept any job offer.
- What Will Your Duties Be: If you are going to do a good job, you first have to know what will be expected of you. Ask what your specific job duties will include. If you know in advance what is expected of you, there will be no surprises at any point down the road. This also gives you an opportunity to look at what you will be expected to do for the amount of money you will be paid so you can decide for yourself if the pay justifies the job responsibilities.
- What Benefits Are Offered: Sometimes employers will offer all sorts of benefits in order to entice people to come to work for them and to keep their current employees happy. These benefits can be anything such as health insurance, retirement programs, paid sick days, paid holidays, paid vacations, and even a company car. Some of these benefits will be offered right away and others will require you to work for a company for a certain amount of time, so you will want to find this out as well. Not all employers will offer these types of perks and depending on the job in which you are applying for, there may be none offered. However, if you don’t ask what benefits you will receive, you will have no idea if there are any offered or not.
- Who Will You Answer to: Find out ahead of time who you will be obligated to report to on a daily basis. In other words, who will your boss be? There is nothing worse than taking a job and expecting to only answer to one boss and then finding out that you have several ‘boss types’ that you have to answer to. Answering to multiple department heads and/or managers may or may not be something you want to do so it is important to know the numbers straight out of the gates.
- What Is the Dress Code: In order to fit in properly with any new job, it is important to dress the part. This is taken a step further as many companies these days have a certain dress code that must be met. In the interview, you should address what is expected to be worn on a day to day basis and also what is unacceptable. This will keep you from ever having that awkward moment when your boss calls you into their office because your clothing doesn’t meet their standards.
Almost every interviewer will ask what they want to ask and then ask you if you have any questions. If you say no, or fail to ask what needs to be asked, then you may be in for some unpleasant surprises when it comes time to start your new job. By asking some basic questions ahead of time, you not only show your interest, but also your intent.
Remember, a job interview is not just so a potential employer can find out about you, but it is also an opportunity for you to find out about the actual company that you might just be working for in the near future. So, when the interviewer asks if you have any questions, don’t be shy, speak your voice and get some answers.
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