The Job Interview Question That Is ALWAYS Asked: “Are there any questions that you have for us?”

Found a great article about how to answer the always asked “Are there any questions that you have for use?” during an interview.  Here’s the five questions the article suggests that you can use to answer with.

Five Questions to Ask During An Interview:

1. What is the immediate need on your team that you are hoping to fill with this position?
This is probably my favorite question.  You know that their team has a need, because they have an opening.  There is most likely a project about to get started, or a required skill-set that they need but are lacking.  Whatever they come back with, this is a perfect segue for you to explain why you are the perfect person to fill that gap.  You can explain why your experience and expertise makes you exactly who they have been looking for.

2. What projects are available that I can contribute on right away?
One of the most frustrating things about hiring someone new is that it can take forever to get them trained and up to speed.  When a candidate asks a question like this, he lets the interviewers know that he will find a way to help as soon as possible, which is a major bonus.  This again gives you the opportunity to sell yourself as someone who *can* help on those projects, and as an added bonus– it lets you know what skills you need to brush up on before your next interview or even before starting the job.

3. I pride myself on my ability to drive process improvement, is this team empowered to find better and more efficient ways to do things ?
The interview process is all about differentiation, and a question like this shows the interviewers that you are determined to be a rock star.  Most companies have many folks who are perfectly happy to learn how to do the basic tasks of their job, and then sit back and collect a paycheck.  What they are looking for is someone who is driven to make things better, who won’t just be satisfied with the status quo.  By not only identifying yourself as a big time horse, but making sure that the company will give room to graze, you are guaranteed to stand out.

4. I have been successful thus far in my career by getting regular feedback from my management, and by keeping communication channels open to make sure that we are on the same page. Can you tell me how your organization defines success?
It would be wise to save this question for the interviewing manager, and not for a peer/technical discussion.  Nobody likes a kiss-up, but letting management know that you will communicate openly and honestly with them, always scores big points.  The last part of the question can be a good barometer about how easy it will be to become a top performer.  You can follow up with a discussion of how you have been successful in your previous jobs.

5. How would you describe a typical day on this team?
Last but not least, this question is more of an icebreaker, and should hopefully lead to some banter between you and the interviewer.  If the interviewer relays struggles or frustrations, be sure to note how you will help them reduce their workload and make things better.  If they respond positively, be sure to reinforce that you think it sounds like a great fit and you are excited for the opportunity to contribute.

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Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions

Scott Hanselman has posted some new questions here that you can use to interview a senior level software engineer.  There’s a lot of good questions and several are ones I need to look up myself :).  I think I may try posting answers to as many of these questions as well as some of the questions he’s listed in an older post.

I also found a link in the comments for 5 essential phone screen questions.  Take a look here when you get a chance.