Sometimes, the ending is more important than the beginning, here is a simple logic. Think about the last movie or TV show you watched. In all cases it's how the program ends that dictates the next chapter, the part two.
Questions you should ask
1. What leadership development plan does your company have?
Your personal leadership development needs to be your priority. This is something you do entirely for yourself and your family besides earning a monthly salary. The difference is, the monthly salary ends with the job while the skills you have acquired continue to grow and remain with you forever. No one can take those away from you. This is why this is an important ‘career-decider’ question you need to ask in every interview. Companies that have structured development programs and invest in their people should be included in your shortlist.
Listening skills are just as important as answering skills. Do not answer a question based on assumptions. Understand the question and ask for clarification, if needed, before answering.
2. Is there a reason you believe I will not be a good fit for this position?
This question will give you an understanding of where you stand and how your interview went. Typically there is a gap of few weeks when you are anxiously waiting to get feedback from the company. So instead of wondering if you made it to the next round or not, this question opens the stage for a frank dialogue and constructive criticism. It may not be the most comfortable question to ask for the first time but the more you start asking the more confident you will become. Plus this question will lower your waiting anxiety.
3. What is 'one-thing' that you most like about the company culture?
This question needs to be narrowed down (one-thing) otherwise you will get very generic answers like ‘we encourage group participation’, ‘teamwork’, … but when you ask what they specifically like you are likely to get a frank and honest answer.
READY FOR YOUR NEXT INTERVIEW?
Job interviews can be nerve wrecking. You don’t know who you are going to meet and what questions are going to be asked. Plus you only get ONE chance.
4. Why did you choose this company?
This is a ‘down-the-memory-lane’ question as it takes the interviewer back to the days when he/she was in your shoes being interviewed for a position. This question will also reveal what you can expect should you get the opportunity.
5. What's the best way for me to follow up with you?
Always leave the door open behind you. This question let’s you go back to the employer based on their preferred follow-up methods and times. Very often the selection process is long with multiple candidates and interviewers in the process. So this question will keep the follow up channels open for you to know exactly where your application is in their process.
Questions you should not ask
How soon can I get promoted?
While this may seem like a reasonable question to ask from the job seekers point of view, showing their ambition, confidence and drive for growth, however from the interviewers perspective it could send off other signals. If could indicate that you are not really interested in the job you are applying for. It could also indicate that you might just be interested in getting your foot in the door or just moving to a different role when you are confirmed.
BONUS: A better way of asking the same question is this.
What is the salary for this position?
This is again a question you should stay away from during the interview process.
Confession: We have made it mandatory for Companies to list their salary range as part of our transparency policy.
Moving back to the question, we want to make sure that you are applying to jobs that match your financial expectations so you don’t end up wasting your time going for interviews where salary is unknown and probably below your expectations. Furthermore asking this question during the interview does not leave a positive impression of you. It makes you look as if you are only interested in the salary part and not the job. This also indicates that the candidate is not a long term investment and will move upon finding a better paying opportunity.