Top 3 Questions to Ask at an Interivew
You are always given an opportunity to ask questions at the end of an interview. The only time you don’t get that chance is if you talked to much and that’s a bad sign. You never want to give up your turn to ask questions. An interview is also your opportunity to insure that they are a good fit for you. It’s a two-way street.
Prior to any interview you need to do your research. And with today’s technology, there is no excuse to go int there unarmed. First look up the strategic plan. Read it and understand it. Come up with 1 or 2 follow up questions to ask the leadership about the plan. If you don’t have access to it or didn’t get an opportunity to review you, still ask about it in one of your questions.
Second, ask about the budget and the staff. If you are coming in as a supervisor or director, make sure you ask how big your budget is going to be and how many staff members will be reporting to you and/or to your staff. If you are coming in as a team member, it is still perfectly appropriate to ask these questions. I would also throw in a question about whether or not there is funding for professional development.
Finally, as the search committee what skill set does their ideal candidate possess. When they tell you, make sure you use those same terms in your closing remarks and provide examples of what you have done that display those skill sets. For example, if they tell you they want a team player who is organized and an excellent communicator, your final remarks should be something like this:
Thank you for the opportunity to interview. I assure you that as a member of the commencement committee at my previous institution, I was part of the team that put on a successful 2017 graduation at a new venue with new features. In my role on the committee I had to liaison with the stadium representative weekly to insure that all of our I’s were dotted and t’s were crossed!
You get the picture.
To summarize, here are the 3 questions I recommend you ask at the end of your interview when given the opportunity.
- What 2 or 3 of the most important aspects of your strategic plan? If they don’t have a strategic plan or look confused, you can reword it to say: What are the top goals for your organization this fiscal year?
- What is the budget for the department I will be working for or leading and how many staff members are part of that department? If you are applying for the leadership position, you want to know how many people directly report to you and how many people directly report to your direct reports. You are ultimately responsible for them all. Bonus: Ask what the budget is for professional development opportunities?
- What skill sets does your ideal candidate bring to this job? Use the same terms they responded with in your closing remarks to describe yourself.
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