Six Crucial Questions : Nailing that Job Interview

1. Would you like to see my references, resume, cover letter, etc.?

This is especially important because you are there to market yourself. If they have not asked you previously to submit a list of references, cover letter, or resume, now is your chance to show it to them. It will showcase your skills and make you seem like a vital asset to their team, so don’t be afraid to ask!

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2. What does a typical day/week look like for someone in this position?

You are interviewing the employer as much as they are interviewing you. A job interview is basically a test to see if you will be a good fit and they will fit your needs in return, so that it is a smooth transition into the company. The best way to figure out if this job is a good fit is to ask what a typical day in the life of an employee is. Is everyone holed up in their cubicle all day? Are there daily conference calls? Back-to-back meetings? These are the things you want to find out sooner, rather than later.

3. If extended an offer, when can I expect to hear from you?

Chances are, this isn’t the only job you are applying for and you need to know how long you will have in between offers. If they aren’t looking to fill the position for another three months, that’s something to consider. Can you afford to wait that long or will the bills start piling up? Don’t be too eager and ask them right away if you’ve got the job. Just mention that you are looking for a rough timeline of events following the initial offer.

4. Can you describe this company’s management style?

Every company works completely differently and it is important that you figure out the kind of vibe of this workplace before you dive right in. Is it a more relaxed management style with casual Fridays and afternoon lunch dates? Or, is there a hierarchy of management where you have to get coffee for the CEO’s and are not allowed to overstep very strict boundaries? It’s best to find this out as soon as possible, so you know if you can work under this type of management until you can work your way up.

5. What do you enjoy most about working here?

The person interviewing you sees the day to day interactions and has been part of this company  for a while (otherwise they wouldn’t be interviewing you). They know the latest work gossip, the ins and outs of the company, and everything that you want to know. Don’t press them for too much information just yet — just ask them what they love about this job to see if that’s something you would learn to love as well.

6. Do you have any other questions for me at this time?

Always, always ask this question. They are probably just as nervous as you are and might have forgotten to ask you some crucial questions. In order to make the interview go smoothly, clarify once more before you close the interview and ask them if they have any more questions. They will probably counter this with the exact same question. Make sure to follow-up with a call to action, saying you will email/call them if you have any more questions later on.

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College Avenue reporter Amanda Zetah can be reached at collegeavenue@collegian.com. Look for the Interviewing Guide issue of College Avenue on racks Mar. 12!