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The hardest interview question: “Do you have any questions for us?”

When interviewing for a job, have some questions prepped.
When interviewing for a job, have some questions prepped.

Before interviewing for a job, It’s normal to be preoccupied with what a hiring manager might ask you, but you should definitely take time to develop thought out questions for them as well.

When interviewing for a job, having prepared questions will not only show you’re interested and organized — it can give you a boost of confidence and calm your nerves because you know that interviews are a two-way street.

Nonetheless, it can be hard to think up questions that are important to you when you’re concentrating on what the hiring manager might ask you. So, if you’re having trouble coming up with insightful questions to ask, here are a few to inspire some of your own!

How many people are on your team?
It’s important to ask questions that will give you a look into what working there might be like and this question can tell you a lot. The size of a team can hint at things like hours, tips, shifts, picking up shifts and/or requesting time off. A small staff might mean more work and a large staff might mean more support. Asking this question will give you a sneak peek into the job and if it will be a good fit for you.

What’s your team culture like?
To be honest, no one is going to come straight out and say, “it’s horrible!” but they might give some insight on what values are important to the team so you can decide if their values align with yours or create conflicts. When asking about the team culture, you can pick up on important keywords like teamwork, fast-paced or family atmosphere — Giving you an idea of how the team works together and some inside information on if its the type of place you’d like to work.

What’s your tip structure?
Tipping is an important part of working in the restaurant industry. For some people, tips make up a majority of their income. So, if you have a preference on how an establishment handles tips then you should definitely ask this question. For a back-of-house position, asking about tips is a great way to get an idea of pay. Some restaurants don’t include BOH in tip out, which may or may not impact income. An establishments tip structure is a big thing to consider when accepting a job and it doesn’t hurt to ask about it.

What do you enjoy most about working here?
Hopefully whoever is interviewing likes their job. If they seem genuine in their answer, then you can probably assume it’s a good place to work, for the reasons they provide. But, maybe you notice that they don’t answer this question quickly or perhaps it doesn’t seem important to them, then this can be a red flag and perhaps a job to avoid. You should always consider other factors as well because individual work values influence a person’s happiness with an establishment.

What are the next steps of the hiring process?
I always ask this question, because I like to know what to expect after an interview and usually the hiring manager will give you a general idea of when they’d like to have a decision made. Some establishments do working interviews, so it’s nice to be prepared. If you can’t think of any questions to ask at the end of an interview, this is a great, quick option because it shows the interviewer that you are interested in going to the next phase of the hiring process.

Ultimately, you should want to ask questions that are important to you and your career, but these are just a few good and common ones. Inquiring about the job will help you make better decisions before accepting just any job offer. Take time to think of a few things that are important to you and turn those values into questions to ask when interviewing for a job — it helps to write them down as well so you won’t forget what you want to know.

Ashley McNally

Ashley McNally likes to cook, loves to bake, and is always dreaming of her next meal. With over 13 years of experience working in various roles within a restaurant — McNally has made a home in hospitality.

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