As you embark on any job interview, it's just as important to ask questions of the interviewer as it is to respond to his inquiries. While the interview panel screens candidates to determine the best fit for the company, it's up to you to decode the job responsibilities, company culture and work approach to ensure that this is a position you want to pursue. Discover which questions to ask during each round of interviews.
The First Round
Use the first-round job interview to get specific details on the job for which you're applying and to get some general idea about the company culture.
Ask the hiring manager what he likes best about working for the company. His answer is likely to demonstrate some of the benefits of being hired by the organization, as well as giving you some valuable insight into its core values.
During the first-round interview, ask the hiring manager what concerns or questions he has about your skills and qualifications. This shows your willingness to tackle issues head-on and gives you the chance to address any reservations about your candidacy before the second-round job interview.
The Second Round
If you're fortunate enough to get called for a second-round interview, use it as an opportunity to learn more about the boss's management style and the work expectations.
Ask the recruiting manager about the short-term and long-term expectations for someone in this position. This provides some insight into the role you may play in future projects. You may also learn about areas for potential growth within the organization.
During the second-round interview, ask about the manager's method of measuring employee success. Knowing how your future work may be evaluated lets you focus on the most crucial areas of your job from day one should you get hired.
The Third Round
When you're lucky enough to be one of the last candidates standing in the third round of job interviews, focus your questions on the work environment and company culture.
Ask the interview panel what type of employees seem to be most successful at the organization. This lets you know how well your personality, work ethic and skills may fit into the company's big picture.
Inquire about the team with which you'll be working so you can garner some insight into how much collaboration is involved in the position. This also provides you a look into the team dynamics, letting you assess what type of relationship you can expect to have with co-workers.
Don't think of the interview process as a question-and-answer session for you alone. Realize that a job interview is a two-way street; it's a chance for the hiring manager to assess your skills and qualifications and an opportunity for you to decide if you're the right fit for the position and the organization. By determining the right questions to ask during each interview round, you can make the job interview work for you.
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