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28, January,

It is not uncommon to come across people at any organisation who feel that they are a terrible fit for the job or that the job is a bad fit for them. Most people get into their jobs with the vacancy advertisement and a rudimentary internet search as their reference points. A job, however lucrative that does not fit your skill set and career aspirations will eventually feel like a bad mistake. More often than not, this happens because people treat the interview as a test and the job as a reward. The interview presents a unique opportunity for you to assess the job role and almost in any interview, this opportunity presents itself in the form of the question – "Do you have any questions for us?". 

If this question at the end of your last interview made you uncomfortable, then you are not alone. When asked about the most dreaded questions in an interview, 52% of respondents said that they have no idea about the right questions to ask. To aid in your search for the job that you would like to wake up in the morning for, we have compiled a list of questions that you can ask.

What are the expectations from this role for the next year? 

This question shows commitment and willingness to be a part of the team and help get an overview of the expectations on which you will have to deliver if you take the job. A discussion about the expected outcomes goes a long way in managing expectations on both sides and makes for a better working relationship. 

If you are a fresher, most organizations make sure to let you know about the initial training or probation phase, which typically can go from 3 to 6 months. This question will help you assess the kind of responsibility and work you might be doing. 

What kind of opportunities and challenges does the role offer? 

This question is essential, especially when you are applying for a role that is entirely new to you or if it is a role that was never offered before in the organization. If you are making a career switch, this question can be an eye-opener.

On what criteria will my performance be measured? 

If you are going for a role where part of the remuneration is in the form of commission or where growth is directly linked to targets, this question might become pertinent. Asking this question does not mean you are interested to know the metrics, but this will give you clarity on what you are getting into.  

Are there any new changes expected in the next six months to the role or department?

Ask this question if you feel that you might be signing for more than what meets the eye. Asking a direct question like this leaves little scope for misunderstanding and will help you decide if the job suits your needs. Even a minor change like a change in your office's location can make the daily commute tedious and the job unappealing. 

Is there a scope for flexible hours or Work from Home in this role?

If your job is of the kind that can be done anywhere, you might not want to travel to the office to do something you can easily do at home. You want to know whether there is a scope for such an arrangement and if the organization is open to discussing it. 

Do not ask questions, the answers to which are readily available through an internet search. Asking questions related to the number of branches, the kind of services and products they offer, etc., are things that you can find on your own. Do your research before the interview and be ready with the questions you have. If the interview gives an evasive answer to your query, do not force an answer. Do not express disappointment at not being answered or if the answer is not up to your expectations. 

Asking questions pertinent to your role and future in the organization shows your keenness on the role, but this certainly does not mean that you must ask questions every time you are offered an opportunity. If your research into the company and the interview has satisfied you with the suitability of the role, it is ok to say, "not at this time."

Remember that you will not be penalized for not asking anything. This question, unlike the rest of them, does not have any right answers. Whatever you opt for is going to be correct.

Choose wisely and ask aptly if you chose to ask. 

Written for Ladders UP HR Solutions ( www.laddersuphr.com) by Shilpa Sri Karra