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5 Questions You Need To Ask During an Interview

Posted on the 12 August 2011 by Classycareergirl @classycareer

One of the most important things to remember when headed to an interview is to bring a list of questions with you!  It is a good idea to prepare this list ahead of time so you don’t forget any of the questions you wanted to ask.  Jamie Scott, a social media advocate at CreditDonkey, is going to help us prepare that list with the 5 questions you need to ask during an interview.  Good luck on your interview! 

5 Questions You Need To Ask During an Interview

Photo by sunshine city

Often, we spend time preparing for job interviews byconsidering the questions that the potential employer may ask about us. Wewrite out and edit the responses we would make to those questions so we cangive the best possible response. Then, we examine our wardrobe to find theperfect outfit to match the hopeful job. And, if we’ve never been to thelocation before, we may even do a test drive to ensure we give ourselves ampletime to get to the interview early.  Unfortunately, one task that many of us forget to do whenpreparing for an interview is to consider the questions that we want to ask ourpotential employer.  After all, the interview is as much for us to feel out theposition and company as it is for the employer to determine if we match theiridea of an ideal candidate.

It can be difficult to know exactly which questions to askduring an interview. Here is a list of five questions to help get you started:
  1. Whatis the organizational structure of the company?  If you are looking for a companythat you can work for long-term, the answer to this question can be quiteimportant. By knowing the structure of the organization, you will be able todetermine whether there is room for advancement.  If you discover from the interviewthat most of the employees report directly to the CEO or a Vice President, thanthe chances of promotion are likely to be slim. However, if you find there is astructured chain of command, making it so there are several positions betweenyours and the executive team, this is a better indicator that there will beroom to grow.  Once you receive a response to thisquestion, you may want to follow up with a statement that includes yourobservations so you can receive confirmation of your assumptions.
  2. Willthis position require travel? If so, how are travel arrangements and expenseshandled? It seems the people either love orhate travel, making it an aspect of a job that could be a deal breaker or adeal sealer. If you are uncertain whether travel will be an aspect of thepotential job, it’s wise to ask the employer about this possibility during theinterview process. This is especially true when interviewing for a company thathas several locations, clients in various locations, or one that participatesin conferences and trade shows.  When asking about travel, you willalso want to know how travel arrangements and expenses are handled. Are yougoing to be the person booking your travel? Are there specific airlines andhotels that you are expected to use? And, are you going to have to use your owncredit card and file for reimbursement?  This question is especiallyimportant, as business travel expenses can add up quickly and you do not wantyour credit limit tied up with outstanding expenses that you are still waitingfor reimbursement. If you learn that you will be responsible for the initialexpenses, you may want to get a separate travel credit card that youonly use for business expenses. This will ensure you still have the ability touse your regular card for your regular purchases. It will also make it easierto identify the purchases that need to be reimbursed.
  3. Whattype of development opportunities are provided to employees? Many companies have anannual budget for employee development. This money is set aside for employeesto go to conferences, seminars and even to use toward college degrees. Having aformal employee development policy is an indicator that a company values itsemployees and wants to do what it can to help its employees grow.  If the potential employer doesprovide employees with the opportunity to grow their skills through tuitionassistance, you will want to ask how the tuition assistance program works. Willyou be expected to commit a specific number of years to the company?
  4. Whatother positions are within the department and what are their roles?  Knowing the exact structure of thedepartment that the potential position is a part of will help you betterunderstand the role within the company. If the department consists of just twopositions, than you may take on a much greater role than the title wouldotherwise indicate!  Once you understand the structureof the department, you may also want to ask how departmental purchases arehandled. Does each employee purchase the items they need to complete their jobor is there one person who makes all of the purchases? Is there a departmentalcredit card or account that is used for these purchases? Or, will you need tofill out reimbursement forms? Again, just like with travel, these purchases canadd up, so you will want to be careful if you have to use your personal creditcard for business purchases.
  5. Isthis a new position or am I replacing a current employee? What is the turnoverrate for this department?  It is important to understand whythe position has become available. If it is a brand new position, that meansthat the company is growing, which is a good thing. However, it also means thatyou may need to help shape your role in the company and help others understandhow you fit.  If you are replacing a currentemployee, you will want to know how long that employee has been in theposition. If they have been in the position for years, it may mean that it willbe time to revamp the processes they have been using. If they were in theposition for a very short amount of time, it could be a red flag that there aresome personality conflicts in the department.
Readers – What are the most important questions to ask during an interview?

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