When you’re going through the interview process, you rarely have a good sense of how many other candidates you’re up against. But you want to do everything you can to stand apart from the crowd and make a solid impression as one of the best. 

That’s why taking advantage of every opportunity you have to shine during an interview is important. 

If you’re like most applicants, you might find two things in the interview and post-interview process difficult. One is feeling caught off guard in the interview when you’re asked what questions you have. 

And most applicants also wonder what to do after the interview — mail a thank you note or send a follow-up email? How long do you wait to hear back? 

In this post from the technical recruitment services at One Tech, we’re breaking down some standout questions to help you get noticed during your next job interview and how to manage the after-interview communication. 

To connect with our technical and engineering recruiters, give us a call today!

Impressive Interview Questions You Should Ask

While in an interview, a hiring manager will almost always ask if you have any questions for them. You may recognize this is the perfect opportunity to stand out as a knowledgeable and invested candidate, but what should you ask? 

Here are some thoughtful and thought-provoking questions and prompts to get you started. 

1. Tell Me About the Company Culture.

Even if you’re a perfect candidate for the job, your professional and personal goals must mesh well with an organization's company culture. Details like whether risk-taking is encouraged, how employees are affected by a company’s values, the flexibility of work arrangements, and how conflict is resolved all play an essential role in company culture. 

Showing a hiring manager that you understand this is important, but it’s also just as important to know ahead of time if the company isn’t an excellent fit for you. 

2. What Are the Company’s Growth-Minded Goals?

No matter how much you love a job when you’re first hired or how exciting you believe your future would look in an organization, every organization has areas it needs to work on. 

Asking this question gives you some insight into areas the company is working on improving and how you could possibly play a role in this growth. 

3. What Do Employees Love Most About Working Here?

This question is an opportunity to delve deeper into what the company culture is like. Ideally, your interviewer will respond enthusiastically with a list of reasons employees enjoy their work environment. 

If their answers seem a bit vague or hesitant, it may indicate an unhealthy work environment. 

4. What Are Your Biggest Goals for This Position?

This question gives you a chance to look ahead to the types of expectations the company has for the position you’re applying for and any metrics that might be used in determining how well they’ve been met. 

This also gives you and the interviewer more time to discuss how well you would fit this position.  

5. What Does a Typical Day in This Position Look Like?

What you don’t want to do is to get hired into a position and learn that it’s nothing like you expected it to be or that there is no clearly defined set of duties. 

When you ask this question, your interviewer should ideally give you a concrete list of information about what you can expect to be doing in this role. 

If her answer is vague or she suggests that the role may look different from day to day, try asking some follow-up questions to gain some clarification.

6. What Are Some Challenges That Come With This Position?

No matter where you work or what role you’re in, there are always challenges that aren’t included in the price tag when you’re checking out a job. 

Asking this question can get you closer to a sense of what those challenges entail, from budget constraints to office politics to company culture issues.

After Interview Follow-Up Etiquette

After your interview, especially one that went well, you may feel inclined to follow up with the hiring managers to see their decision or ask an additional question. But before hastily emailing or calling, refresh yourself with some good follow-up protocols. 

Send a Thank You Email

It’s not only polite. A thank you email is a good way to subtly remind a hiring manager that you’re interested or even excited about this position. 

Send your thank you email a day or two after the interview, keep it short and to the point, and let the interviewer know how you’d like to be contacted when a decision is made. 

Don’t ask how the decision process is going or how soon you’ll know if you got the job. That makes you sound impatient. Instead, focus on how grateful you are for the opportunity to interview with the company.  

A thank you email is also a smooth way to ask a follow-up question about the job if you’ve thought of one after the interview.

Be Patient

Remember, most hiring managers are interviewing a few or many more people than just you, especially in competitive fields. They're also processing applicants and checking up on references. 

Be respectful of their time by not expecting them to contact you with a decision right away. Give employers one to two weeks before checking in about the status of the position. 

If you follow up too soon, you may leave a bad impression or make the hiring manager feel pressured. Instead, show your awareness and appreciation for the hiring process by allowing that extra time.  

Phrase Your Follow-Up Message Carefully

With an interview, you have to prepare to make a good impression, so your follow-up email or call should be equally as put together. 

Keep your message succinct and follow these guidelines: 

  • Remind the hiring manager of who you are and when you interviewed.

  • You can even mention something unique you discussed in the interview to help the hiring manager associate your message with your interview. 

  • Emphasize how positive the experience was for you and thank the manager for their time again.

  • Then politely ask for an update about the hiring process. 

Move On If Your Follow-Up Email Goes Unanswered

If you’ve emailed the hiring manager two weeks after the interview with your carefully worded follow-up email and don’t hear back, it’s time to move on. Not hearing from them likely means they’ve chosen another candidate. 

While it’s frustrating not to get a response back, consider it a sign that they weren’t the right employer for you. Focus on people and companies interested in you and respect your time by communicating with you effectively. 

Get Hired Today With Our Technical Recruiting Services

If you’re tired of the interview process or you’d rather spend some time experiencing different company cultures before making a long-term commitment, One Tech Engineering can help. 

To connect with our staffing services about technical drafting jobs and recruiting, call 952.884.9199 or contact us online today.