It is essential that you clearly understand your role and the tasks that you would be expected to undertake. It’s easy to make assumptions and get the wrong impression from the job posting so don’t be afraid to dive-in and ask specific questions.
What do you see ahead for your company in the next five years?
What types of people seem to excel here?
These questions serve two purposes. They help you to understand where the job might lead and what skills you might acquire. They also signal your ambition to advance and that you’re setting goals for yourself. If you research ahead and mention you've heard of a specific project and are curious how it'll play-out or if your position will obtain a role in the project you'll appear to be dedicated and well-informed.
Ballsy question indeed! If you can muster up the courage for this one you’ll receive quick feedback and won’t go home pacing. If they say you’re a good fit, you can ask if there are any reasons you may not be offered the position. If they say you’re lacking a key skill or attribute you can politely point out some relevant experience or strength that you may have previously left out.
What are the most immediate challenges of the position that need to be addressed in the first 3-6 months?
You are showing the employer that you are ready to jump into whatever projects are lined up or have been left behind by your predecessor. This demonstrates your interest in the position itself and also shows a personal desire to contribute to the company’s success. By understanding the challenges ahead of time you are able to dive-in and create a successful plan-of-action instead of belly-flopping.
Never ask a question that can simply be answered with a yes or no. Consider it like a first date; you’re going nowhere with a flat conversation. And if the employer skips this part of the interview, speak up and ask if they wouldn't mind if you had a few questions for them.
Be creative; be enticing; be analytical; be you.
Samantha Del Duca