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When you go for a job interview, you should have questions for the hiring manager about the job. In fact, it doesn’t look good if you have none. But if you are really interested in the position, you naturally will want to know as much about it and the company as you can.

There is one very important question that should always be on your list, one that will tell you a lot about the situation you are walking into. It is a simple question, but quite revealing – Why is the position open? There is a limited range of answers to this question, all of which can tell you a lot about the company. Here they are.

1. It’s open because the company is expanding.
This is a reassuring answer. If a company is growing, that is a good sign. It generally means that it has competent management, that there are more opportunities for you as a new hire, and that it will work to keep its employees happy.

So, if you don’t hear anything about growth when the hiring manager answers your question, be sure to ask about it.

2. It’s open because the person was promoted.
This is another good answer. If someone was promoted, it means that the company likes to advance people from within and could also mean that the company is growing. One thing to keep in mind if you hear this answer, however – you will be taking over for an exceptional performer, and your work will be compared to this person.

3. It’s open because someone was let go.
It’s important to learn more about why the person was let go, and so you may need to ask some follow up questions here. If the person was let go because he or she was incompetent, you will look better by comparison, so that is good for you. On the other hand, it could be that the company has unreasonable expectations and the turnover rate is high because of that.

4. It’s open because the person quit.
This answer should raise a very big red flag. There are benign reasons for a person leaving, ones that should not raise concern. The person may be retiring, or have health issues, or want to relocate. But most of the time, the reasons are not so innocuous. Many people leave because of problems with their supervisor, or because they see no growth opportunities, or because of office politics.

If you get this response, you need to probe more deeply to learn what you can about the reasons for leaving. Keep after it until you are comfortable with the answers you are getting and know what you are getting into.

Begin your job search with Winston Resources. We will be your partner in the job hunt, helping you with leads and advice along the way, making sure you get the job that’s right for you. Give us a call today.


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