What Questions Should I Ask During the Interview Process?

What sort of questions should I prepare to ask during the interview process?

Sincerely,
Curious George

It's always a great idea to have a smart and relevant set of questions prepared to ask during the interview. It's crucial to demonstrate not only your curiosity, but your smarts, communication skills, and strategic thinking as well as your interest in the role and research into the organization - nothing impresses hiring managers more than really smart questions!  The type of questions to ask depend on two things: a) what stage of the interview process you're in, and 2) the role of the interviewer within the organization. Let's break it down:

QUESTIONS FOR HIRING MANAGERS/PROSPECTIVE SUPERVISORS
• What are the goals for the department? How do they tie to the larger strategic goals of the organization?
• What's your vision of how this position fits into the department? How would you describe the short and long-term challenges this hire will face?
• Why are you looking to fill this position now?
• How would you describe your management style?
• How do you measure success of individuals that report to you, as well as the collective success of the team?

QUESTIONS FOR OTHER STAFF
• What's [your role or department]'s connection to the overall strategy of the organization? How does [your role or department] interact with this role?
• How would you describe the overall culture of the organization? What aspects of the culture do you personally connect with the most?
• What brought you to [org]? And what keeps you here?
• How would you characterize what it takes to be successful at [org]?

QUESTIONS FOR HUMAN RESOURCES REPRESENTATIVES
• What is the process for performance management?
• How would you describe typical career trajectories at the organization?
• I've talked about organizational culture with some of the other people I've met with. How would you describe the culture and how are organizational values/norms demonstrated in the work environment?
• (If later in the process) Can you provide information on salary ranges and benefits for this position?
• What's the policy on [any special arrangements that may interest you e.g. working from home, working part-time]?

Of course, feel free to develop questions that are highly specific to the role or organization. The more you are able to demonstrate and reflect that you are curious about the role, organization, and overall mission area, the more you'll be considered as a thoughtful and insightful contender for the role.

Interested in learning more about Commongood Careers' advising services? Contact advising@commongoodcareers.org.

This article was written by Dana Hagenbuch.