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Questions 2 Ask

Updated 12/28/2016

   45 minutes of answering deep questions and now
   you hear the magic words:

   "Any questions for me?"

   Absolutely you have questions so be prepared.
   Having a list is acceptable but generally understand you get about 15
   minutes depending on their time schedules so make them count asking THE
   most important ones to you first.

   Having good questions shows interest and can help your overall evaluation
   as a candidate.

   Material provided is from; link is at the bottom of this page.  This does not imply that is making any endorsement of any kind for for any purposes of The CT Groups.

  Your role 

Be careful not to ask questions already answered in the job description.  It’s important go beyond those general duties to understand everything the job entails.
  1. Can you offer specific details about the position’s day-to-day responsibilities?

  2. What would my first week at work look like?

  3. How does this position contribute to the organization’s success?

  4. What do you hope I will accomplish in this position?

  5. How does the company culture affect this role?

  6. What job shadowing opportunities are available for an applicant before they
      accept an offer?

Proceed with caution: If rather than going into detail about the primary responsibilities listed in the
                                  job description, the employer rambles off many more duties — they may be
                                  asking you to take on more than you initially thought.

  Getting to know the interviewer 

Most likely, the interviewer is the first contact you’ll have at this company — they could even be your future boss. Asking questions can help you understand their attitude, company values, and where the company’s future is heading.

  7. What do you enjoy most about working here?

  8. Why are you working in this industry?

  9. Can you walk me through your typical work day?

10. What is your greatest accomplishment with the company?

11. What is your team’s greatest accomplishment?

12. What goals do you have for the company, yourself, and employees over the
      next five years?

13. What hobbies do you have outside of the office?

Proceed with caution: Be wary of leaders who have trouble opening up or don’t seem passionate
                                  about their company and team.

  Management’s style 

What type of management style do you need to reach the height of your potential? Now’s the best time to see if the company’s leaders align with your expectations.

14. How do leaders encourage employees to ask questions?

15. How do leaders set employees up for success?

16. How does employee feedback get incorporated into day-to-day operations?

17. How does management deliver negative feedback to employees?

Proceed with caution: Employers who can’t list how they encourage employees and set them up for
                                  success may not deliver the support you’re looking for in a company.

  Company culture 

From benefits and perks to the ways employees interact with each other, not meshing with a company’s culture can put a roadblock on your path to success.

18. What is your work culture like?

19. How would you describe the work environment here?

20. What benefits are focused on work-life balance?

21. What benefits and perks does the company offer?

22. What is the outline of your telecommuting policy?

23. How frequently do employees make themselves available outside of normal
      working hours?

Proceed with caution: Listen closely to how the interviewer describes the company’s benefits and
                                  environment to be sure it’s the right culture for your personality and working

  Company reputation 

After doing some research, you should already know a few things about the company’s reputation. Now it’s time to dig a little deeper to make sure this is a place where you’ll thrive.

24. What’s your mission statement?

25. How often is a new hire the result of a previous employee quitting?

26. Why do most employees leave the company?

27. How would employees describe the company and its leaders?

28. What are the company’s biggest problems? How are they overcoming them?

29. What do you want the company to be known for among employees — past,
      present, and future?

Proceed with caution: Quality leaders will be the first to admit that their company isn’t perfect.
                                  Interviewers who claim they would change nothing might be failing to grow
                                  and make positive changes.

  Performance measurements 

Knowing a company’s expectations and how they measure goals before accepting a job offer helps you decide if their style matches with what motivates you.

30. How are employees recognized for their hard work?

31. How involved are employees in the structuring of their own goals and tasks?

32. What are your views on goals, timelines, and measuring success?

33. How often are employees expected to provide status updates on a project?

34. How often do you evaluate employee performance?

Proceed with caution: Wanting constant updates and control over employee tasks are warning signs
                                  of a micromanager.

  Future co-workers 

The employees at this organization could be your next team. Make sure you’re positive this is a group you want to be a part of.

35. Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with?

36. How competitive are your employees?

37. How do you develop teamwork skills among employees?

Proceed with caution: A competitive environment can be fun and motivating, but a lack of teamwork
                                  in the office could point to a cutthroat company.

  Opportunities for growth 

What is your ultimate career goal? Set yourself up for success by finding out how far this new position could take you on your career path.

38. What type of mentor system do you have in place?

39. What type of educational/training opportunities does the company offer?  

40. What advancement opportunities are available?

41. How do leaders promote employee growth and success?

42. What does it take to be a top performer at this company?

Proceed with caution: If an interviewer is unable to share how you can advance within the company,
                                  chances are you might not be able to grow at the rate you want.

  Moving forward 

Don’t leave the interview with any questions unanswered — for you or the interviewer. This is your final opportunity to make sure you’re both on the same page before you walk out the door.

43. What’s the next step of this process, and when can I expect to hear from you?

44. Is there any other information I can provide you with?

45. Would you like to see more examples of my work?

Proceed with caution: Interviewers who don’t have a lot to offer on next steps may already have
                                  another candidate in mind or might not be in a big rush to hire.  Remember
                                  to stay positive and continue to job search until you’re officially hired.

If you ask if the company has a "cutthroat work culture" you may not get an honest
answer and you may have blown the interview.  Yet you need to know this answer.

This is where networking prior to the interview can save you, by talking to people who you can trust or who worked there to gauge the environment.

This environment believes the harder management "cracks the whip", the better people will perform.  Not just the better people but all people.  There are several problems to what is a debunked management belief:

  1.  This adds about 50% more on healthcare than other organizations because
       80% of the workplace accidents are attributed to stress, as are 80% of doctor
       visits.  More accidents, more doctor visits, more lost time ... do the math.

  2.  These environments are less productive due to lower levels of employee
       engagement.  Organizations with high numbers of disengaged employees
       have 40% LOWER earnings per share, are 18% LESS productive, and have a
       50% HIGHER turnover.

This environment should encourage you to at least reassess your work life and
may need to consider taking action.  Here are some additional factors to consider:

  1.  Cutthroat management overwork people
       For good employees, they may feel they are being punished.  Stanford
       University shows productivity drops sharply when the workweek exceeds 50
       hours and productivity drops off so much after 55 hours that employers
       do not realize any extra work.

  2.  No Empathy
       Knowing your manager DOES CARE for you as a person and how you're doing
       is a big thing, or are they there to insure you keep pumping out work?  Over
       50% who leave a company do so because of their boss relationship.  Those
       companies who balance professionalism with being a human resource do
       better.  Hard times get empathy from good managers but the challenge is
       still there.  Those who don't or rarely care see higher turnover rates.

  3.  No Recognition
       Contributions or good work are what employees are expected to make not
       something they should be rewarded for.  When Managers fail to communicate
       regarding what incentives them, little good will happen.

  4.  No Socializing, No Fun
       Strong social connections create strong and healthy teams.  Companies like
       Google provide free meals, bowling allies, fitness classes and others.  Work is
       being associated with run from which employers perform better, stick around
       longer hours and have a longer career.

  5.  Stupid Rules
       Rules are needed but overzealous attendance policies or taking frequent flier
       miles are unnecessary.  Employees feel the "Big Brother" breathing down their
       necks and decide there are better places to work at.

  6.  No Team Effort
       Bad managers abdicate responsibility seeing this that workers are responsible
       for addressing.  Managers who support their employees in tasks that they
       delegate produce better team players who are more willing to assist others
       and are more committed to their own jobs.

  7.  No Pursuit of Passions
       Google MANDATES employees spent at least 20% of their time doing "what
       they believe will benefit Google most."  Perhaps the largest payback is having
       highly engaged workers.  Talented employees are passionate, provide
       opportunities for their passions which improves productivity and job
       satisfaction.  Some managers want people in a little box.  There are no studies
       that support the belief such freedom will decrease productivity.  Those who
       are afforded to pursue their passions at work experience flow, a euphoric state
       of mind that is 5 times more productive than the norm.

  8.  Bosses Don't Listen
       The feeling of a connection with your manager creates a willingness to take
       risks and experiment, which produces better outcomes.  The lack of such
       feelings and opportunities to ask questions or offer suggestions is potentially
       a cutthroat environment.