Questions to Ask a Potential Employer

So you’re in a job interview and you think everything is going well. You have managed to speak slowly and confidently. You have nailed every question your interviewer has asked. Your hair hasn’t gone frizzy and you don’t feel any sweat on your forehead. You’re crushing it.

Then, all of the sudden, just as you thought you were off the hook, they grill you with the final and hardest question of the day: “So, do you have any questions for us?”

We all know this question is coming, yet hardly put thought into it. However, the truth is, giving some thought to this question can pay dividends. First, great questions can make you sound interested. You want the potential employer to believe, if you extended, you would absolutely accept their offer. Second, you can learn whether the potential employer is truly a good fit for you. They are getting to know you AND you are getting to know them!

We checked out what general guidance was out there on the internet for employee interviews, and then conducted our own user research by listening to what some of Cabinet’s executive assistants and administrative assistants had to say. The needs of administrative professionals are very different than other roles’ needs at a company.

Here is Cabinet’s list of guaranteed good questions to ask in an interview.

Questions to Ask a Manager or Superior

  1. What qualities make a candidate successful in this position?
  2. What did the previous administrative professional do well in that you’d like to see the new one continue to do?
  3.  Are new tasks being assigned to this position that the previous person wasn’t assigned?
  4.  What should I be able to accomplish on my own within 30/60/90 days?
  5.  What are the current goals that the company is focused on, and how does this team work to support hitting those goals?
  6.  What goals or metrics will my performance be measured against?
  7. What is the number one thing keeping you up at night, and how can the new hire help be part of solution to solving this?

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Questions to Ask a Potential Coworker or Fellow Admin

In addition to these questions, it would be wise of you to get a better look into the culture you’re entering. At the end of the day, this is also an interview of the company.

  1. What is the leadership style of the team or executives the new hire would support?
  2. What is degree of autonomy like in the role?
  3. How long have you been at the company?
  4. What do you like most about your job and the company?
  5. What part is most challenging?
  6. How has your role changed since being here?
  7. How has the company changed since you’ve been here?
  8. How would you describe the work environment here—is the work typically collaborative or more independent?

These should be good grounds for a) showing you care about making an impact b) showing you know how to manage expectations and c) discovering whether you will be happy in this work environment.

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