Many questions you have going in to an interview will be answered during the course of it, but at some point you will most likely be asked if you have any additional questions. This is a great opportunity to not only reaffirm your interest in the company, but also demonstrate your focus on building a career within it and reiterate how well you match up to the position.
Even if you feel you already know all you need to know about the restaurant, hotel, or club you are interviewing with, it’s still a good idea to ask at least a few intelligent questions.
By the way, notice the qualifier used above – “intelligent”. You would be amazed by the number of candidates that sail through an interview only to blow it in the end by either not asking any questions or, worse yet, by asking the wrong questions.
Only you can decide what things are important to you in a company and your career development. The following lists are intended to give you a little insight as to appropriate and inappropriate questions that might be asked.
Remember that the interviewing is about selling yourself. When appropriate, try to demonstrate/reaffirm how you skills and experience match the interviewer’s response to your question.
- In your opinion, what are the qualities that set your most successful managers/chef/??? apart from the rest?
- What are the primary difficulties faced by your managers/chefs/??? on a daily/ongoing basis?
- What is the development curve within the company? How long is one usually in such-and-such a position? What needs to happen/what does one need to do/demonstrate in order to be promoted to the next level?
- What percent of positions are filled through internal promotions? Why are you looking to fill this position with an external candidate?
- Why do people leave the company?
- What type of ongoing program are in place to insure the continued professional growth and development of your people?
- How frequently are performance reviews done? Who is involved in the review process?
- How do you feel I stack up against the other candidates you’ve interviewed so far?
- When will you be making a decision on this position? When should I expect to hear from you? If I haven’t heard from you by that date, may I contact you?
These questions may or may not have their place, but it is usually not at the first interview.
- What is the salary? When are salary evaluations done?
- How much vacation time do I get?
- What are my days off?
- What’s the meal policy?
- What’s your sick day policy?
- I already know how to do “ABC’, do I really have to waste my time doing it as part of the training?
Generally speaking, most companies will provide you with some general information about these topics early on in the interview process. Unless specifically brought up for discussion by the interviewer, your questions regarding these topics should usually be reserved for the last interview.