Any questions?

James Gregory has two posts up about writing a CV: CV Advice and More CV Advice. I’m pretty sceptical about the CV advice genre in general because it gets into contradictory personal preferences pretty quickly: one recruiter will never look at a CV with a career objective section, another insists on them, you might as well spread out your chicken entrails. But James’s are mostly grounded in making your CV either easily to skim or easier to file (eg, name it ‘FirstnameLastnameCV.doc’) and largely seem fair enough.

Rather than add to it (I’ve never been in a hiring position), I thought I’d pass on some advice I also gave a job seeker a while back: some potential questions to ask when you are asked do you have any questions? at the end of an interview.

All of this is obviously common sense dependant. If you know that the company has a total of four employees, there’s no point asking about the intricacies of your reporting hierarchy or transfer possibilities. If you’re applying for a high level role, asking about independent work will make you sound like a doofus (but then again, if you’re applying for a high level role, you’ve probably made it through interviews before). Don’t ask for stuff you don’t actually want (eg lots of travel). Don’t for the love of all that’s holy and right print this out and fire off the entire list at them like a robot. And so on.

Work policies and procedures:

  • dress code
  • work hours
  • expectation of overtime
  • leave policies: how much? when?
  • performance and pay reviews. how often? is it a formal or informal process? is it based on individual performance? is it tied to promotion?

Workplace and team placement:

  • will I work in a team? what roles would the members of my team have?
  • what is the hierarchy like? who would I report to and how much supervision could I expect from them? what level of independent work is required?
  • is there any opportunity in the future for travel/transfer to another office?

Company structure:

  • how many people work for you?
  • how many of them are in this office?
  • what kind of jobs do they do?
  • how long do employees stay with you?

Career progression:

  • where can I expect to progress to after a year or two here? what about in five years?
  • what skills might I need in the future here? how will I obtain them?
  • is there any training or further education you offer or that I should consider doing independently if I work for you?