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Questions to Ask Before Accepting a Job

Today's post is written by ECS Graduate Advisor Tara McCarron, who advises intern, co-op, and full-time employment seeking students.

Interviews are a two-way street; they are an opportunity for employers to learn more about you and for you to learn about a prospective employer.  In order to get the most out of the interview process it is important to have a list of questions ready before you start. 

Here is a list of questions to ask employers before, during, and after the interview process:

Before

  • Whom will I be interviewing with? – Knowing who you are interviewing with ahead of time gives you an edge.  Researching the interviewer enables you to personalize your response and have more insightful questions. 

During

  • What are your short and long term goals for this position? – Knowing what an employer wants an employee to achieve can help you better evaluate the work you could be doing as well as your fit with position. 
  • Can you tell me why the last person left this job? – The employer might not tell you the answer to this question, but it is important to ask.  This question can help you identify positions that are a good way to advance a career. 
  • Who are the primary people I’ll be working with on a daily basis? – Understanding with whom you will interact with is a good way to understand your role in the overall company.  This question can also enable you to learn how collaborative a position is and if it will be a good fit for you. 
  • What do you think the biggest challenge facing the person taking this role? – No position is perfect.  Asking this question can help you have realistic expectations and provide an opportunity for you to impress an employer by presenting yourself as a possible solution. 
  • What is the timeline for filling this position? – Hiring managers have a ballpark idea of how long the hiring process should take so be sure to ask about the timeline for filling position and if there are any additional steps. 

After

  • Have you made a decision? (If the given deadline has passed) – If you haven’t heard back from an employer by the deadline they gave you, it is appropriate to follow up to see if a decision has been made.  Wait an extra day or two and send the employer a quick email to ask how the process is going. 
  • Do you have any recommendations for how I could improve my interviewing skills? – If you don’t get the position, use it as an opportunity to improve your interviewing skills by asking for feedback. 

 

“A prudent question is one-half of wisdom.”-Francis Bacon