Your Turn to Ask Questions - Part 2

Nancy Anderson
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Last week, in part one, we began looking at some sample question ideas that you could ask when given the chance at your next job interview. Quite often when we are given the chance to ask questions, we may pass or simply not know the types of good questions we should be asking. Hopefully some of these will assist you in thinking of additional questions that might be good to ask.

"How much travel is expected?" - For a position in the logistics field, this is very relevant. Some companies need local drivers, while other need long distance drivers. Depending on your family situation and/or local commitments, knowing the amount of distance and time you will be travelling will be of great interest.

"What is a typical work week schedule - is overtime available or expected?" - It is always good to know going in, how much is being expected. Will your schedule permit you to work overtime if it is required? Will your schedule be consistent from week to week, or is it always changing? These are the types of things you'll need to know in order to evaluate if you can handle the scheduling.

"What kind of advancement options are there - and how does one advance?" - Will you have the ability to move up in rank and pay? Is there room to advance and learn other aspects of the job? Does the employer offer to pay for advanced training options and certifications? Questions relating to the ability to keep learning and advancing are always important to know.

If you are speaking with one of the direct supervisors for your department (and maybe even if not), you may wish to ask something along the lines of "What do you like about working here?" Get an insider’s scoop, and maybe they will reveal some points about the company that you were not aware of or did not factor into the equation. You may also wish to follow it up with asking what they do not like about working there, and if they could change anything what might it be?

And in closing the interview out, you may want to ask things like "when might I expect to hear back from you?" and "are there any other questions I can answer for you?"

Now, in closing this article out, I give another "what not to ask" type question.

"Will I have any flexibility or ability to change my schedule?" - You may have some need that may require a schedule slightly different from the normal one of the position. If so, this is not the place to ask it. Throwing that out there now may send up a flag that you have special needs, and that could have an initial negative impact that could cause you to be passed over early in the game. Wait until you have gotten to the point of being offered the position officially before discussing any special needs; of course discuss those needs before agreeing to take the position, especially if those needs have to be met before you can actually take the job.

What kind of questions have you asked at an interview? Have they been productive or counterproductive in your experience? Share your experiences by commenting below.

Jeff McCormack

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