By Peter H. Gregory, Bill Hughes

Whether you’re applying for a networking position or any other job, don’t forget to ask questions. Job applicants often become so fixated on being able to properly answer interview questions that they forget to think of some good questions to ask the interviewer. You don’t want to have to think on your feet, even though this is a valuable skill for interviewing. Instead, prepare some questions to ask your interviewers.

Interviews should be two-way. However, too many candidates ask few questions or ask only the standard “How do you like working here?” question, which may not tell them what they want to know.

Following are some questions to ask interviewers who are not the hiring manager:

  • What challenges would I face in this position?

  • What don’t you like about working here, and what would you change if you could?

  • Does this organization promote people from within or hire outsiders?

Here are some questions to ask the hiring manager (or the hiring manager’s boss):

  • What problems exist in your team, and how could I help?

  • How would you measure success for the candidate who fills this job?

  • Will I have the tools and resources I need to get the job done?

  • Have I said or done anything that doesn’t make me the ideal candidate for the job?

And at the end of the final interview with your potential boss, consider taking a bold approach:

  • I’m seriously interested in this position. Can we close the deal right now?

If your gut instinct tells you that this approach is too strong, a better question would be

  • I’m seriously interested in this position. What are our next steps?

If you’re not sure whether this is the right job for you, ask your interviewer(s) additional questions. You should know as much as you can before deciding to commit to working in the organization.