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ask questionsThe interview is a two-way street – the hiring manager wants to learn about you, and this is your chance to learn about the company. So, at the end of the interview when the hiring manager asks, “Do you have any questions?” have a mental list ready, or refer to the written list you brought with you.

Now’s your chance to learn about the people you’d be working with, management style and your role (the job description may not have outlined everything!) Just as you would answer interview questions, stay positive in your questions to the hiring manager.

Print these out and place them in your portfolio to review them on the way to the interview. This way you (hopefully) won’t draw a blank when the time comes. Ask 3-5 questions, depending on time.

Questions about the workplace:

1. What type of person succeeds here?

2. What are the current goals of the company and how does this position fit in?

About you and your role:

These will show the interviewer that you are ready to start with your best foot forward

1. What type of person succeeds here?

2. Where do you see the [department/team] in five years?

3. If I were offered the position, what could I do to be considered a stellar performer and to exceed your expectations?

4. How would you measure success for this role?

5. If I started tomorrow, what would my top two priorities be?

6. What is the biggest challenge someone will face in this job in the first six months?

7. What are the top three qualities you are looking for in the person you hire to join this company?

8. What would a typical day look like for this role?

9. I understand you may be interviewing other candidates. Do you know when you’d be making a decision?

About the hiring manager:

1. What sort of management style would you say you have?

2. What’s your preferred style off communicating with staff?

3. What excites you about coming to work every day?

Some pointers:

Notice that this list doesn’t include any questions about pay, benefits, background checks or promotions. Focus on this role and exuding a positive attitude on what you can bring to this role, not what you’d get out of working for the company.

While you’re listening intently, think of ways you can tailor some of these questions to the company. For example, the interviewer may have said which projects you’d be working on, so for the question, “Where do you see this team/department/company in five years?” you can rephrase this to “You mentioned that you see this company doing XYZ in the next five years. How do you envision this role helping you meet those goals?

Of course, since you’ve done your research on the company, you may know the company inside and out. Use this research to tailor your questions.

It is important to listen when the interviewer is speaking. You want to avoid asking one of these questions if it has already been addressed in the interview!