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Job Interview Questions to Ask Prospective Employers

Job Interview Questions to Ask Prospective Employers

Whether you're applying for your first job after college or have been in the workforce for a few years, having a good set of questions to ask at a job interview is an important part of the process. This will help you get some of the answers you're looking for to help determine if the position is the right job for you. It also shows the potential employer that you are organized and interested in the work.

You can start with a set of basic questions, but it is also important to customize questions for each company. This will separate you from other applicants and show that you come prepared.

Here are some of the most important interview questions you can include in your next interview.

Who is better to succeed in this position and why?

A hiring manager or HR manager will likely have a pretty good idea of who they want. For example, the company may want someone who pays attention to detail, can work independently, or takes the initiative. If your skills and personality don't match the response, this is a sign you might want to look elsewhere.

What are the job responsibilities?

Sometimes the functions look different. On paper than they are in reality. The job may have a higher level of responsibilities than you are willing to take on, or it may involve a lot of clerical work when your skills are a better fit for sales or customer service. If the job requires you to sit at a desk all day and you prefer to be in the field making calls, this may not be appropriate.

What does a typical day, week, or month look like in this post?

Some jobs are the same every day, some change depending on the job. The job may involve a lot of travel to attend trade shows and other events that take place at the same time each year, or you may experience quarterly periods that are busier than other times of the year. If the position has cycles, such as late hours for a tax preparation company during the first quarter of each year, it pays to know.

What travel does work involve?

This is an important question to ask if you have family responsibilities or other activities that may be affected by your time away from home. Whether it's driving or flying, travel can sometimes interfere with a person's family and personal life if they are not prepared.

What are the growth prospects?

You want to know if you will be able to rise in the company or not. Even if the position has no next step, a good company often recognizes talented employees and finds other ways to use their skills, or to give them increased responsibilities. This keeps the employee engaged and happy while using that person's education and abilities for the benefit of the company. As a follow-up question, you may want to ask about the career paths for this position and what others in this job have done at the company. Or you may ask why they left.

What is the next step?

Here you are trying to discern the company's time frame for hiring. This may include interviews and other steps to complete before a decision is made. Provide a list of references or ask if there's more the hiring manager needs from you to move on to the next stage. If you are about to get an offer from another company, it may be helpful to let them know so you can gauge their interest and determine how quickly they can move forward.

The interviewer will of course have questions for you. There are standard questions hiring managers tend to ask, and knowing what some of these questions are before the interview gives you time to practice your answers. Most importantly, read about the company before the interview and learn as much as you can about it, the industry and the location before you go. This way you will be in a position to link your qualifications to their needs. They will like your initiative.

It is never too early to think about the future. Once you're hired and you've learned things from your new job, start thinking about retirement planning. Nationwide can help you learn more about enrolling in plans and understand the basics of investing.

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