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You are near the end of a job interview. You have almost completed an hour-long conversation with the “Ultimate Decision-Maker,” the president and chief executive officer, who turns to you and asks, “Now, what questions do you have for us?”

You say, “Ooops. Er. Uh. Ah. Well. Gee. Errr. Um. Ahhhh. Well, I am sure you have answered all of my questions, I am sure I’ll think of some later.”

As soon as you leave, the executive sighs with relief, “Boy did I just dodge a bullet. That candidate was a numbskull.” Your résumé is deposited in the circular file, also known as the wastebasket.

Rather than interview well and mess up at the end (often your turn to ask questions comes toward the end of a job interview), why not prepare yourself in advance with some well thought out questions such as:

“Would you please describe the company culture here.”

“How would you outline your management style?”

“What results would I be expected to achieve during the first six months?”

“What areas of this department would you like strengthened?”

“Describe the ideal candidate for this job.”

“What are the priorities and major challenges you see for this position?”

“Where can I expect to be after three years?”

“Where do you see the major growth potential for this company or department in the next five years?”

“What qualities lead you to believe that I would be successful?”

“Have I answered your questions satisfactorily?”

“On a scale of 1 to 5, how well do I fit your needs?”

“In your opinion, am I qualified?”

Closing Questions:

“I’m interested in pursuing this further, where do we go from here?”

“May I see the environment I would be working in?

“When would you like someone to start this job?

“How many others are you interviewing?”

“When are you going to make a hiring decision?”

Please note, at the end of a job interview invariably someone, usually the decision-maker or a human resources manager, will tell you the next step in the process. For example, “We’ll call you in a few days to schedule the final interview.” So don’t waste one of your questions — they’re not going to give you more than a few — on that subject.

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