We spend a lot of time thinking about how to answer the questions that hiring managers are likely to ask during interview. Equally important? The questions you’ve prepared prior to the meeting.
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1. “What does your company do?”
“One of the most important things you need to arrive armed with is knowledge of the company you’re applying to intern or work for,” writes Alicia Thomas on Her Campus. “Employers assume that you know important information about them, like their mission statement and the head of their company. Asking this question indicates that you didn’t take the time to research those things, which sends a message to the employer that you don’t care.”
A quick search on the internet will tell you everything you need to know to look like you belong at the table, from who runs the company to how much you can expect to be paid for working there.
2. “Can I do this job from home?”
Alison Doyle of About.com’s Job Searching site says that companies usually list telecommuting as a benefit right in the job description. If it’s not there, don’t ask.
3. “How much vacation do I get?”
That’s a question for later in the interview process, once they love you and want you to take the job. Asking this question right up front makes it look like you’re already dreaming of time away from the office.
4. “Do I need to work overtime?”
The answer to this question will generally be “yes” — and anyway, you can get a sense of the corporate culture during your research ahead of time. If you need more information than you can glean through the internet, you can approach this question sideways by asking how the department is structured and what an average day at the company is like.
5. “What’s the salary for this job?”
Again, you can get a sense of the range by researching the company and job title online, but don’t ask this question early in the interview process — it’s premature, and can shut down productive conversation about the position.
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What’s the worst question you’ve ever heard in a job interview? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.