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Good Questions to Ask at a Second-Round Interview
Where's This Company Headed?
You should ask a series of questions to determine the financial health and plans for growth of the organization. Rather than blurt out, "How safe will my job be?" make sure your questions are informed by your own research. For example, "I noticed a trend in the company's acquisition patterns and wanted to know whether you intend expand to abroad and into the X market." Or, "There are a lot of competitors in this field with great products and business plans. What should be the deciding factor that makes this opportunity superior?" And, "What have been some of reasons you've lost your top performers?" Another is, "Would you describe this company's commitment to diversity and how it uses its hiring practices to further business development?"
Will I Like Working Here?
Make a list of the most important factors you want to have at your next job and query your interviewer about them. Ask questions like, "What would I witness if I stood outside at 6 p.m.? Would most people still be working, or will they be smiling, taking work home?" "Tell me what are the three best and three worst parts of the workplace culture here." "What qualities or skills did my predecessor lack that you are hoping to get fulfilled in me?"
How About Compensation?
Never bring up money first, but chances are salary will come up during this interview. Before committing to accepting any salary, ask several questions about the total compensation package. For example, "What percent contribution does the company make toward health insurance premiums and the 401k?" "Talk to me about the review process; can I be reviewed more often." "What investments does the company make in terms of professional development?" "How many members of my future team have been promoted in the past two years?"
Never leave an interview without determining what the hiring manager plans to do next. Ask whether there will be another interview, how soon a decision will be made and what additional steps you need to take. Also, in parting, ask, "How can I help you make a decision?" and "When can I expect to hear from you?
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