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Smart questions to ask at a job interview

“Do you have any questions for me?” If you always find yourself flustered and unsure of what to ask at the end of a job interview, read on so you can sail through this portion of your meeting with flying colours.

Woman at a job interview

Never know what to say when your interviewer asks if you have any questions? It’s important to have a couple of questions for them — it’ll show your keenness and interest in the job, and can help demonstrate you’ve done your research. Here are some dos and don’ts when it comes to what to ask.

Don’t ask obvious questions

What you want to do is demonstrate the in-depth research you’ve done on the company and the job. So be sure that what you’re asking is not something that can easily be learned from the company website.

Do have a few questions in mind

Once you’ve done your research before the interview, jot down three to five questions and commit them to memory in order of priority. Don’t ask questions just for the sake of asking questions — you should have a genuine interest in the answer. It is possible that some of your questions will be covered in the discussion you’ve just had with the interviewer, which is why it’s a good idea to have several in mind. If, however, you simply have no questions, it is OK to say that everything has been covered in your meeting.

Do ask about opportunities for advancement and continued learning

You will, of course, want to know for your own sake if the company tends to promote from within and what type of support or opportunities they have for further learning. But this question also helps to show your prospective employer that you are eager, ambitious and forward-thinking.

Don’t focus your questions on salary, vacation days, benefits

In your first interview with the company, if you ask about sick days, lieu time and salary, the impression you’ll give is that you are less interested in the job and how you can contribute to the company than you are in your compensation and time away from the office.

Do ask about the company’s and the department’s biggest challenges

Asking about this rather than focusing on the day-to-day issues you’d be dealing with will help give you a clear idea of strategic dilemmas the company is facing and a sense of what you could be getting yourself into. This question can also be a way for you to offer your insight on the state of the industry and what direction you see it going in.

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