The more thinking you do before a job interview, rolling the assignment around in your mind and thinking about all aspects of it, the better your interview questions will be. Here are some general questions that you can ask your hiring manager a/k/a Your Possible Next Boss at a job interview, no matter what the job description is. Leave a comment with more great questions you’ve used at job interviews!

1. Three months from now, when your new hire has been on the job for a solid ninety days, certain things that are bothering you now will be resolved and forgotten. What is that list of problems or projects that will be taken care of by that time — and that will cause you to be thrilled that you hired the right person?

2. What do you expect to be the greatest learning curve for the new person coming into this job? Is it the technology he or she will be using, learning the culture here or something else?

3. In the absence of a person to fill this job, what is the topic or aspect of this role that has taken up the most of your time and energy?

4. Who are the internal customers for this position, and what do each of them need from your new hire?

5. How does this position support your department’s goals?

6. Can you please share the backstory on this position? Is it a new assignment, or has someone been performing this role, and if so what is that person doing now?

7. What is the biggest innovation or upgrade you’d like to see coming from the person in this position, over the next year?

8. How do you like to communicate with the folks on your team — through email, face-to-face or in another way?

9. Assuming that everyone on your team is charged up about their work and full of ideas, they (and I, if I’m invited to join your team) could probably work until midnight. When is it time to go home? What constitutes a solid day’s work in your mind?

10. How do you plan to evaluate the performance of the person in this job? What are the most important milestones to hit?

11. What would you consider the area of greatest sensitivity or hand-holding for the new person in this position? What cultural currents must he or she be aware of and take into account?

12. Can you please tell me about the training for this role, whether that’s classroom training or learning from other people here?

13. You presumably had to justify this new hire to one or more people in the organization. What is the thrust of that argument — the biggest reason to fill this job now, as opposed to waiting?

14. Assuming you’re thrilled with your new hire and that person stays with the company for several years, what is the most obvious next career step here for that person?

15. What should your new hire know about your management style, that will help him or her interact more effectively with you?

 

– Liz Ryan, Human Workplace