I didn't spend much time as a Boy Scout (I did a year of duty with the Cub Scouts, and have fond memories of being forced to wear a khaki, button-up shirt and a kerchief once a week) but I did take away something important that we can apply to the interview process. That is the Scout Motto: Be Prepared.
When preparing for an interview, one should have the basics of a checklist down:
Know how to get to the interview location.
Be properly dressed.
Have multiple copies of resume on hand.
An important item that people tend to forget is to be prepared with questions to ask your interviewer. They'll have plenty of questions for you, that's a given, and one of them, usually near the end of the interiview, will inevitably be "What questions do you have for me?" This is not just a throw away question to wrap up the interview. An interviewer asks this question to gauge your interest in the position.
This brings us back to being prepared. Go into the interview knowing 2 or 3 questions that you definitely want to ask. You may come upon some during the interview process, and feel free to ask them during the interviewer, as long as they stay within the flow of the conversation.
A very handy article from The Muse lists 51 (yes, 51!) questions you, as a candidate, can ask in your interview. The article breaks the questions down into different categories, which makes it handy to find questions to ask about different topics so as not to be redundant. I'll list the groups and a few questions below, but for the full list, make sure to check out the full article here.
- What does a typical day look like?
- What are the skills and experiences you're looking for in the ideal candidate?
- What are the biggest challenges that someone in this position would face?
Training and Professional Development
- How will I be trained?
- Are there opportunities for advancement or professional development.
- What are the most important things you'd like to see someone accomplish in the first 30, 60, and 90 days on the job?
- What are the performance expectations of this position over the first 12 months?
- Where do you see this company in the next few years?
- What are the current goals that the company is focused on, and how does this team work to support hitting these goals?
- Can you tell me about the team I'll be working with?
- What are the common career paths in this department.
- What are the next steps in the interview process?
- Is there anything else I can provide you with that would be helpful?
The questions you choose to ask your interviewer give you a chance to show your enthusiasm for the position, and can go a long way in showing the hiring manager that you are a good fit for this job.
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