Remember an interview is a two way street. It's a conversation for both the job seeker and the hiring manager to qualify each other on whether there is a good match for both parties. With that being said, your lack of questions will convey a variety of indifferent messages that will leave the interviewer waving a big red flag over your resume. They will be thinking: Are you not that interested? Are you not that confident to ask questions? Do you not understand the position? Or how much did you really prepare for this interview?
Don't make that mistake. Show the interviewer that you've got no time to waste, you're on a mission and you are there to impress! Leave the interviewer saying "that's the person I want to hire!"
So what kinds of questions are appropriate?
- Ask questions about the company: Do your research on the organization. Find the good and the bad and address it all. Employers are happy to boast about all the positive press, but watch how they respond to challenges within the organization. Are they truthful about their shortcomings and seem to have a real plan to get back on track or do they ignore your question and try to change the subject? What has been their track record of growth over the past few years? Are they developing any new products? What types of marketing initiatives are in place?
- Ask questions about the day-to-day functions of the role: What time is spent inside prospecting verses outside in front of the client? Are you conducting web demos or do you work in conjunction with a Sales Engineer? What's an average size sale and how long is the sales cycle? Who is the targeted audience? What are the expectations/goals of the role? What are the typical challenges people face in this role?
- Ask questions around the culture and environment: How would you describe the team I would be working with? How do you reward top performers? How do you motivate the sales team?
- Ask questions around resources /training and internal career growth: Most companies have varying degrees of training in place that can be explained. Some training is structured while other companies offer a "learn as you go" training. Depending on your reason for wanting to join the organization, information around internal career growth may be important to you.
- Ask questions about the type of person the hiring manager finds to be a good fit: What characteristics are you looking for that you feel will make a successful hire for this position? This is an important question because if the hiring manager gives you a list of qualifications & characteristics that describe you, then you need to let them know. Give examples that illustrate how you are a great fit. Offer references that will back you up.
Not being prepared to ask questions during an interview is a costly mistake that many people make. Take initiative, be inquisitive and ask qualifying questions that will help you make informed decisions about your career.