1. ARE THERE FLEXIBLE WORKING HOURS?
Wait to receive an offer before asking about the hours, says Steven Rothberg, president and founder1 of College Recruiter2. At that point in the process, you gain a bit of power over the employer, and can ask about day-to-day specifics without appearing lazy. The soft benefits-including working hours, paid time off, and remote working arrangements-can be negotiated3 along with your salary if they are important to you.
2. TELL ME ABOUT THE POSITION.
Most interviewers will meet with you about a specific role. You should already understand what it is, and you should sell yourself for that position, says Jill MacFadyen, a Georgia-based career coach. "It wouldn't sound good to ask about the role unless it was a call out of the blue, and you did need to know about it," MacFadyen says. Expert Interview Coach founder Barry Drexler adds that asking for the job description makes you look unprepared and like you're not taking the opportunity seriously.
3. I PLAN ON GETTING MY MASTER'S DEGREE.
If asked where you see yourself in five years, you need to give an answer that fits the career path for the role. So if you're interviewing for a marketing4 role, don't say that you see yourself in a sales position, says Drexler. It's also unwise to tell the recruiter you plan to go back to school (unless you're 100 percent sure doing so would be encouraged by the company). Do so, and you risk appearing less than fully5 committed.
4. HOW LONG IS THIS INTERVIEW?
You need to be present and in the moment, says Vicki Salemi, a career expert based in New York. "Once, I had a candidate who was talking on the cell phone," Salemi says. "He held up his pointer finger to tell me to give him a second. What could be more important at that moment than the interview?" You need to show that this is the highlight of your day.
5. HOW SOON DO YOU PROMOTE?
You need to understand that you're not going to be in this position for two minutes before being promoted, Salemi says. "You want to show that you understand that there's a learning curve," she says. At the same time, you may be genuinely curious about rising up the ranks of the company and opportunities for future growth. A better way to say it: "Can you please tell me more about the career path here?" Salemi suggests.
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