When an HR representative/director conducts a job interview, s/he will devote a lot of time and thought to questions that should be asked even if sometimes they may sound a bit canned. Given this, one way to impress an HR representative/director is for the interviewee to ask thoughtful, informed, quality questions about the position and company.
DO NOT ask: “So, what does the company make?”
Know ahead of time what the business does, manufactures, services, and ships out. The Internet is a most valuable source of information when it comes to ferreting out the little details about the company and its products. Failure to know this information ahead of time belies your assertion of wanting to work for this business (specifically) and puts you in a position of desperation.
Ask Instead: With a company of this size (in this industry, with yearly net sales of…) and impact, how much travel is expected on a monthly basis?
This shows that you not only appreciate the company’s growing impact, but that you are also expecting to be an integral part of the team that makes it happen.
By assuming that you will be traveling – even if you are not really excited about that aspect – and posing the question about the frequency of travel, you are indirectly expressing your willingness to go ahead and do so. This is one of the top job interview questions to ask an HR director in order to get on the boss’ good side!
DO NOT ask: “So where is the company going next?”
This shows that you are essentially clueless. Instead, in a competitive economy where jobs are not as plentiful as they were a few short years ago, it is vital to be the candidate who is educated about the business, the current industry buzz and of course the future plans of the company for which you are interviewing (such as they have been released to the general public).
Ask Instead: With the industry rumors hinting toward an expansion, will you be opening additional offices?
This shows that you keep your ear to the ground, are able to make logical deductions with respect to growth, and are anticipating the growing needs of the business. It also shows that your very presence at the interview is evidence that you are willing (and believe yourself to be able) to become an integral part of the company’s growth.
DO NOT ask: “So, how flexible is my schedule? I mean, if I need to take time off, is that going to be a problem?”
Of all the job interview questions to ask an HR representative, this is quite possibly the worst. These professionals are forever groaning under the burden of adjusting time cards, schedules, and coverage details, and if you anticipate throwing a monkey wrench into their gears before you are even hired, the odds are very good that you will not be the winning candidate.
Ask Instead: With the increasing popularity of the widget, will I have the opportunity to work overtime?
Even if you do not want to work overtime, this is a great way to feel out the possibilities of not only the general work ethic of the company, but also the potential for earning that overtime pay.
DO NOT ask: “So, what are some of the problems with the company?”
Granted, the mass hiring effort that is currently going on points to a recent turn over of the employees that must have been massive, but by trying to learn the gossip about the business, you identify yourself as someone who gives credence to idle tongue wagging. If there has been a problem with the staff, it behooves you to be as far removed from this situation as possible.
Ask Instead: Assuming that you find my qualifications satisfactory, how soon would you like me to start?
The goal of thinking up job interview questions to ask an HR representative is to market your potential as a valuable member of the business. When you assume the sale, so to speak, and begin talking about the logistics of the actual hiring, you are bringing the interview to a close on a positive and forward going note. On the other hand, if you notice at this moment that the hiring manager is extremely hesitant to answer, the odds are good that you might not be in the running as strongly as perhaps you had hoped. This gives rise to your last ditch effort!
DO NOT ask: “Would you like a copy of my references?”
Trust me, if the HR representative wants them, they will get them from you. This is a bland question that is very obviously filler and needs to be avoided at all costs.
Ask Instead: Are there any other questions about my qualifications I may answer?
Think of job interview questions to ask an HR director as job interview questions with a purpose. The goal of this question is to get an HR worker onto your side by offering you a last minute chance to shine. Assuming you and the interviewer established a great rapport but somehow along the lines your answers deviated from what is considered acceptable norm, this is the question the individual may need to get you back on track. Of course, if you failed to establish the rapport, the odds are against you and most likely you will not be able to turn around a faulty impression you unwittingly gave.
As you can see, there is a lot of power in carefully planning the job interview questions to ask an HR representative. Ask the right questions, and you may be given the opportunity to correct an impression you did not want to make; ask the wrong questions, and you may nip in the bud any chances of employment you may have had.