You're heading into the interview with a tech giant and you're prepared to answer any question that's asked of you. You've rehashed hypothetical conversations, how you plan to explain your reason for leaving your last position, and why you should be considered for the job. But did you prepare questions to ask?
The interview process isn't just about showcasing your talents to them. It's an opportunity for you to interview the company and, ultimately, make sure it's the best choice for you as well. To separate yourself from other candidates being considered, be prepared with questions of your own about the IT role and the company. It will demonstrate your initiative and tell a hiring manager that you take the interview process just as seriously as they do.
Is this position open due to turnover or growth?
Asking this question opens the conversation with the interviewer to discuss why the role is open. It will help you understand, too, if there are others currently in the role and growth plans of the company. If you identify that this position is available now due to turnover, you might inquire further about why past candidates haven't been successful.
What is the tenure of someone in this role on average?
By asking this question, you can discern overall longevity potential with the company as well as within the job. Employees tend to stay where they are most appreciated, challenged, and rewarded. On the flip side, this position may be a springboard to higher-level positions, as well. A well-structured tenure question can you help you understand which applies to this opening.
How long do you expect a training period to be?
The response will help you gauge the employer's expectations of your performance timeline. You'll learn if, in fact, there is a training period or if you should plan to sink or swim in your new position. You might be open for either type of learning environment, but asking about it in your interview, signifies to the hiring manager that you're confident you'll get to this training point.
What would the next logical advancement be for someone in this position?
Asking if there is room for advancement can be a yes or no question. Asking about the next logical step up will prompt the interviewer to be more precise in responding to the actual opportunities available. Longevity with the job may be contingent on your ability to be promoted to more senior levels within the same department or other departments altogether.
What are the additional company perks or incentives?
You'll want to understand the company's culture and how they treat the staff. Inquiring about fun activities the company may offer at holidays or summer picnics will help you determine if the company is an ideal match for you. This may be a natural question to lead into conversations about year-end bonuses or profit-sharing opportunities as well.
What would others in this role say is the biggest challenge of the position?
You'll want to know what challenges others have faced in the role for which you're applying. By asking this question, you'll hope to learn of potential pitfalls you can expect to encounter. It may also lead the conversation to naturally flow in a direction where you can discuss adversities and challenges you overcame in your current or past roles.
Can you tell me more about the other team members I'll work with directly?
By asking about your team, you imply that you're able to work within a group and gain insight into the work habits and characteristics of those with whom you'll be working closely in the role. Learning about the communication flow and hierarchy will help you decide if the company is offering an environment you want to be in.
How do you handle performance reviews?
Performance reviews are great tools companies use to evaluate the performance of staff, set goals, and pace growth and salary increases. You'll want to ask about reviews to learn how and when you will be evaluated throughout your career. If the hiring manager indicates there isn't a performance review platform in place, you can then ask more precisely how they manage and reward individual successes. In doing so, you'll demonstrate your interest in learning what success in this role looks like, and that you picture yourself in the role.
How long have you been here, in your role with the company and in the industry?
Inquiring about your interviewer's tenure within his or her role as well as with the company will help you determine his or her position of authority and knowledge. The hiring manager may also open up about more personal experiences that may shed some light on the company culture. People enjoy speaking about themselves and their experiences. If you get the hiring manager to open up, go with it. You can build on that relationship and in turn, be the memorable candidate with whom he or she shared stories during the interview.
Do you have any unanswered questions or reservations about my ability to perform in this position?
Don't be afraid to ask how the interviewer feels about the interview. This will give you one last opportunity to address any unanswered questions the hiring manager may have. It will also allow you to end the conversation, knowing you've done your best to address each potential concern. You can then prioritize too, your follow up communication strategy. The strongest candidates for consideration layout the next step expectations at the end of the interview.
Remember, the interviewing process is two-sided. You're interviewing for the job. The company is interviewing to recruit your talents. Be prepared not only to have your best responses to their questions but also to ask your most relevant questions. In doing so, you'll demonstrate your commitment to your career growth, which in turn, will help you separate you from the competition. There are thousands of candidates out there claiming to be tech-skilled. Separate yourself from the less than stellar applicants by asking the smartest questions in your interview.
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