Many interview tips offer advice on how to answer the hiring manager's questions. And when you're interviewing for creative jobs, how you answer the hiring manager's questions is important. But at the end of an interview, you'll often hear, "Do you have any questions for me?"
This isn't a cue to ask about starting salary and vacation days. It's your opportunity to dig deeper into the company's culture and show off your knowledge of the organization. Ideally, the list of questions you prepare for the interview tips the scale between "We'll keep your resume on file" and "You're hired!"
The biggest mistake candidates make
A survey from Robert Half found the biggest mistake candidates make in interviews is failure to educate themselves about the company. Don't let yourself be a statistic: In preparing for your next job interview, research the company and its work thoroughly to come up with a thoughtful list of questions. Carefully examine and evaluate the company's website, social media presence and portfolio of work, as well as any recent news articles about the organization.
What to ask the hiring manager
Ready for some awesome candidate-posed interview questions? Here are 15 sample questions you should consider asking in your next interview:
- Is this a new position? If so, how long have you been trying to fill it?
- If it's not a new position, why did the last person leave? What particular skills or characteristics are you looking for in the new hire?
- What are some of the reasons you've rejected candidates so far?
- How would you measure the success of a person in this position?
- What are the company's short- and long-term goals? What role would I play in those goals?
- What are the relationships like between the creative department and other areas of the company?
- What kinds of career paths are available for a person in this position?
- How long have you been with the company? (A quick LinkedIn search can answer this question and give you more talking points for your interviewer, such as shared education or past companies.) What's changed since you started? What would you like to change?
- What kinds of personalities mesh best within the company?
- Would you say the organization's structure is hierarchical or flat?
- How would you describe the company's culture?
- I hear the company's biggest competitor is ___. (Your research should turn this up.) What are you doing better than them?
- Aside from my manager, who would I be working closely with? Would it be possible to meet them if the hiring process moves forward?
- Is there anything else you'd like to know about me that we haven't covered yet?
- I'm excited about the position. What are the next steps?
This final question is a perfect way to wrap up the interview on a positive note and with a clear indication that your interest remains strong. It also will give you a good idea of how the rest of the process will move. Once your interview is over, don't forget to follow up. (Of all the interview tips we have, that's the most important.)