Congratulations! The hiring manager must really be interested in you since you’ve gotten this far in the interview,. If you haven’t been given the opportunity to ask your own questions, your candidacy is over. Hiring managers who aren’t interested in responding to questions you have about the job or the company, isn’t interested in you as a candidate. Or better yet, you shouldn’t be interested in them.
So what are the questions you should ask that will make you a top candidate? Let’s start off with the questions you shouldn’t ask: Questions about compensation, benefits, vacation, moving allowance, bonuses, and the like. Why? These are the items you can discuss and negotiate after you get an offer, not before. When a hiring manager is convinced that you are the best person for the job, that’s the best time for discussion and negotiations.
The questions you should ask at this stage of the interview are those that position you as a competent contributor, who will add value to the organization and achieve results in the short and long term. How do you do that? By asking questions of the hiring manager like:
- What are the issues that you need to find solutions for in the short term?
- What performance is expected in order for key results to be achieved?
- What are the strategies that need to be implemented in the longer term?
This type of question positions you as a results-oriented candidate wanting to know the expectations of the organization, and what you need to do to be a top performer.
The way in which the hiring manager answers these questions will tell you:
- The depth, extent and complexity of issues you will be facing. Manageable?
- The expectations of the hiring manager. Too high? Unrealistic time-frame?
- Your potential success longer term? Opportunity for promotion?
- The openness of the hiring manager to your questions? Skimpy or free-form?
- The business acumen of the hiring manager. Can you learn from him?
- How the hiring manager views your potential. Is he looking for alternatives from you? Does he ask how you would approach the potential solution? Can you translate your past successes to the issues of the open job?
If the hiring manager responds in this way, chances are that you are the top candidate for this position. If he can’t or won’t answer your questions, ask why.
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